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Tile Artistry

Tree’s Place Tilery in Orleans

Tile can be used for more than just flooring and bathrooms, such as a marble window accent. Photo by Amanda Wastrom

Currently de rigueur in any upscale residence but equally elegant in rustic cottages and antique homes, natural stone requires a different type of maintenance, advises Wastrom. Marble, limestone, or granite can be very easy to take care of, but will wear with age. “In my opinion, all marbles tend to get better with age. They wear and tell the story of your life,” Wastrom says. Tree’s Place carries colorful selections of marble ($8 to $14 per square foot) from almost every country in the world that has a quarry, from Brazil to Vermont. Other materials are imported from South America, Mexico, England, Holland, Italy, and France as well as being carefully selected from numerous American sources.

With its slick, reflective surfaces, glass has become popular in the past 10 years, expanding from just a few Italian lines, such as Sicis’s mostly small mosaic lines, to American companies like Artistic Tile, known for using different shapes to create unique designs. “Glass ($10 to $30 per square foot) is relatively maintenance-free, but setting the tile correctly and selecting the right grout color makes a huge difference,” Wastrom explains.

Having worked at Tree’s Place for the past eight years, Wastrom has developed quite a niche in the lower Cape as the go-to guy for tile and stone. He has worked in the tile industry since graduating in 2000 from Champlain College with a degree in Graphic Design. Working as a dealer sales representative for Artistic Tile gave him insight and knowledge into the products he sells and how they are produced, maintained, and installed. Constantly researching current trends and ideas, Wastrom also maintains professional relationships with some of the top innovators in the industry. His experience combined with his evolving connections to the building and designing community on Cape Cod adds nuance, depth, and understanding to his work with customers.

Although Tree’s Place doesn’t offer installation services, Wastrom always sees the project through from beginning to end to ensure the final result is exactly as the homeowner imagined. He meets with any contractor or architect—per the homeowner’s choice—on site to work out all the final details. He has jumped in the car to meet with contractors in Boston or other off-Cape sites. “We ship everywhere…I haven’t had to fly anywhere yet, but I wouldn’t rule that out,” says the East Sandwich resident.

Whether it takes a couple of minutes or months and months to create that perfect space, seeing someone’s dream room come to life makes it all worth it for Wastrom. “I love to have customers come in and say, ‘Oh it looks beautiful, it puts a smile on my face every morning when I walk in there.’ I just had a customer this morning from Rhode Island that came in to share photos of a mosaic staircase I helped him with a year ago,” says Wastrom.

The key to buying and selecting tile is to “give yourself time,” advises Wastrom. It’s a good idea to take a day or two at the local bookstore, searching all the home and dwelling magazines and books. “Buy the one you like, bring it into Tree’s Place, and we’ll help to find out what material it is, how to get it at a great price and send you off with it…it’s as simple as that,” Wastrom says.

For information on Tree’s Place Tilery, go to

Jill Jannson is a freelance writer for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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