Visit Our Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re considering installing tile in your home or business, we’ve broken down what you need to know to help you make your tile installation decisions!
You might know something about tile, but there are still a few lingering questions that you may want answered. Is there something about floor or wall tile that has you stumped, don’t worry! Our FAQ page compiles the most common questions we hear from our customers and provides the answers to our most asked questions.
Ceramic tiles have been around for over 2000 years. They typically have a white or red clay biscuit with some form of glaze on top. Porcelain tile cost more than ordinary ceramic tile because you are getting a superior product. Porcelain tile requires the finest natural ingredients and a rigidly controlled manufacturing process that utilizes the most advanced processes and technology. Porcelain tiles are made from an extremely finely powdered clay tablet that is pressed under enormous pressure and heat – several hundred degrees hotter than ceramics. Porcelain tiles are much harder and more dense than ceramic tiles. This allows porcelain tiles to be made in very large formats that would be impossible to achieve in a ceramic tile. Porcelain tiles will also often have a colored biscuit that matches the surface glaze, or have a color and pattern that extends all the way through the tile. This avoids the common problem with ceramics where the glaze gets chipped and exposes the color of the clay biscuit underneath.
Glazed tiles are made the same as unglazed except that a glass layer called a glaze is fused to its’ surface by means of tremendous heat. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs. The glaze also protects the tile from staining. Unglazed tiles are true inlays. Unglazed tiles are very similar to glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Unglazed ceramic tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.
Wall tiles, because they are not intended to be load bearing are typically thinner, lighter and softer than floor tiles. Wall tile glazes are not designed to handle the abrasive forces from foot traffic. Increasingly, floor tiles are being applied to walls and this is no problem so long as the walls are strong enough to support their weight and proper ceramic tile installation methods are used. However, it is not usual to recommend using wall tiles in floor applications.
Don’t limit yourself to thinking that tile can just be used indoors. It is an ideal patio covering and for decorative front porch stoops. You can permanently adhere tile to pre-cast concrete walking pads to create stunning garden stepping stones. But if you decide to use ceramic tile outdoors, be sure these tiles meet slip-resistance minimum requirements. Exterior tiles have a surface texture that helps make them slip resistant. Top-quality tile manufacturers make special outdoor tile that has a slightly gritty surface, even though the tile is glazed. The invisible grit provides superb traction when tiles become wet. To be used outdoors,the tile must be frost proof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less. We recommends that slip-resistant tiles be used outside in areas exposed to weather and rain, or around swimming pools etc. Exterior tiles are usually graded to indicate their particular slip-resistance. Note that there is always a trade-off between slip resistance and maintenance and cleaning. Slip-resistant tiles will accumulate more dirt and will naturally require more regular attention.
Tiles are usually sold by the square feet, so the area to be tiled needs to be carefully measured to establish how many square feet are involved. This can be done by your architect, builder or preferably your tile contractor. Note that there is always a degree of waste resulting from the cuts required to achieve your tile layout. The contingency allowance for wastage is best estimated by your tile contractor, but is typically between 10% on a straight lay and 15% on Diagonal lay, depending on the tiles being used and the complexity of the particular design and layout. Also, consider that it is always wise to keep several spare tiles just in case replacements are required at a later date.
It depends. With proper installation, ceramic tile is very durable. If you drop a glass or dish, the glass or dish will most likely break, while the tile may chip or crack.
When you’re thinking of tiling your kitchen or bathroom floor, take into consideration the disruption in your daily life. Some preparation can be done well in advance of the tiling project. You will have to remove cabinets and doors if a new sub flooring will be applied. For the kitchen floor project, set aside a long weekend so the kitchen can be back in operation as quickly as possible.ow long does it take?
Tiling the average Kitchen floor takes usually 3 to 4 days and involves the following:.
If you want to install kitchen floor tile where it will be covered by cabinet bases or other permanent fixtures.
As long as you don’t chip at the tile with any heavy or sharp objects, tile should last for the life of the home. Tile was found intact in the ancient ruins of Rome and various other places. After all, it’s made of finely ground stone, and hardened in a kiln. Just basic maintenance and avoiding heavy drops should definitly keep your tile lasting and looking great for many years to come.
Whenever there are cracks in the slab other than a hair crack, spider webbing surface cracks, it has to be addressed before installing the tile or you will more than likely have cracks in the tile. There are several ways of doing this, but the best is a crack isolation membrane. The joint should be thoroughly cleaned and filled with a resilient filling agent ( before Installation )
Yes you can tile over sheetrock so long as it’s not a wet area ( tub enclosure, shower area, etc.) yes, you can. Even stone tile will adhere well.
Using a grout that is the same color as the tile will create a blended effect, making the floor more uniform in appearance. For some, this may be the desired effect. However, using a contrasting color grout will emphasize the grout joint. You don’t want to go to extreme or your floor will end up looking too busy and you will tire of it quickly. The best bet for grout selection is to choose one the blends well with the tile.
New concrete reaches full strength after 21 days but it is recommended to wait the full curing period of 28 days before installing tile.
Cleaning tiles is simple. Wipe tile with a damp sponge or mop, using a small amount of soap-less detergent in warm water. Heavy duty cleaning can be accomplished with a 1/3 white vinigar and 2/3 water solution. Avoid abrasive household cleaners, which will scratch your tile.
Lippage is referring to the variance in plain from one piece of tile to the other and becomes particularly objectionable when it occurs in a corner. The most common reason for lippage is that the substrate has not met Tile Council of America standards and the tile contractor has failed to point this out prior to the installation. The larger the piece of tile, the more difficult it is to compensate for an uneven floor surface. This then becomes a particular problem on canterlevered floors. It would be desirable to keep it within 1/32 (approximately the thickness of one dime), with 1/16 (2/dimes) as maximum.
The width of the joint dictates not only whether the grout should be sanded or not, but also the gradation of the sand. As a rule of thumb: 1/8 or less – non-sanded grout , over 1/8 to 1/2 – fine-sanded grout , over 1/2 to 3/4 – coarse-sanded (Quarry) grout.
This depends on the sealer being used. Because of the different formulations, different sealers require different waiting times, anywhere from 3- 28 days, and the best advice I could give you is to check your particular brand of sealer for its recommendation. Generally speaking, there are two types of sealer base — water and solvent, and the solvent based sealers generally require the shorter waiting period, but they’re also much more expensive. I prefer waiting 14 days.
There is always a remote possibility of an individual fractured tile, usually caused by not being bonded properly and then being affected by an object dropping on it. That type of fracture is repaired by replacing the damaged tile. A rule of thumb to determining the problem: if the crack goes from one tile to another on a continuous line through the grout joint, the problem, without any doubt, is in the substrate; which is usually a crack in the slab. The damaged tile would have to be removed, a crack isolation membrane put down and the tile reinstalled; which should solve the problem.
You should wait at least 24 hours before walking on your new floor. Some installations will take longer, and you should check this with the manufacturer.
• Measuring and marking surfaces for tile to be installed
• Using tile cutters, grinders and wet saws to cut and shape tile
• Spreading first layer of thinset or mastic over surface
• Cutting wire mesh to required size and tacking to surface
• Applying a cement onto the mesh and leveling to the right thickness
• Applying another layer of thinset mortar on surface.
• Applying thinset adhesive to the back of the tile and installing
• Tapping with a mallet to attach tile to adhesive for bonding
• Filling in spaces between tiles with grout
• Applying sealers
All natural tiles vary slightly between production runs. Sizes change between batches and this means is that mixing and matching different production batches is seldom possible. Rectified tiles are deliberately made over size, and are then cut on a diamond saw at the factory to a common caliber. The square, saw-cut edges allow for finer narrower grout joints between tiles and result in a beautiful and contemporary finished look. Rectified calibration also means that rectified tiles will still work together when modular sizes are mixed. Rectified products have increased in popularity over recent times. Note that rectified tiles need to be installed on a good surface square and level, and your tile contractor should be experienced with the requirements for laying this type of product.