FAQS

Ceramic, Porcelain, Glass and Natural stone

Will sealing make my tiles or stone maintenance free?
Nothing is maintenance free! Sealing makes your surface easier to clean. Contaminants can sit on the surface longer, so you have more time to clean up before any staining occurs. On some unsealed tiles and stone, staining can start immediately. Think of your stone sealing product as a bottle of time. No stone sealing product will make a porous surface stain-proof, but will make it highly stain resistant. Using the correct stone cleaning products also makes a difference.

Is tile or grout waterproof?
Tile grout is not waterproof. Even with a grout sealer, most sealers used these days are breatheable, meaning moisture can transmit through it, both in and out, so even sealer won’t make grout waterproof.

What is the difference in ceramic and porcelain?

Porcelain is full bodied, which means the color is throughout the tile. Also, porcelain is generally harder and more durable. The primary ingredient in the composition of true porcelain tile is finely-ground sand. The end result is a very dense, glass-like material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. Because of its density and composition of natural ingredients, porcelain tile has all the same excellent qualities of glazed ceraamic.
The term “ceramic tile” is often used as a generic name for all types of tile Ceramic is made primarily of clay mixed with various minerals and water. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished color, design and texture.
Glazed ceramic tile is very durable, and when properly installed and cared for, it will last longer than any non-tile material used for the same purpose. It is also one of the easiest surfaces to clean, and because of its composition, it will not absorb odors, nor support allergens or bacteria.

What is glass tile?
Glass tile is basically glass that is made into various sized tiles and finishes.
Glass Tiles are available in different shapes including: Glass Tile Squares, Glass Tile Bricks, Glass Tile Sticks, Glass Tile Ovals, Glass Tile Rounds, and Glass Tile Mixed Sizes.
Glass Tiles are available in different finishes, including: Polished Glass Tile, Glossy Glass Tile, Matte Glass Tile, Tumbled Glass Tile, Rippled Glass Tile, and Iridescent Glass Tile. Glass Tile is also stain resistant making it ideal for use as a kitchen back splash, bathroom wall, shower wall, and shower floor installations.

Natural Stone

What is travertine?
Travertine belongs to the larger family of stone called limestone also known as Calcium Carbonate. Marble is also a type of limestone that has had additional heat and pressure applied to it by the earth’s crust.

What does the finished surface of travertine look like?
Travertine can have four major finishes, polished (shiny), honed (matte), brushed and tumbled (textured surfaces).

Where would I use travertine?
Travertine has been used in the construction of buildings for thousands of years. In today’s construction, travertine is used for flooring, , showers (extensively), wall coverings and counter tops.

Why is granite an excellent material for kitchen countertops?
Next to diamond, sapphire, and ruby, granite is the hardest natural product on earth.. Normal use of kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware leaves no scratches. Heat has almost no effect on natural granite, making it much safer than synthetic surfaces with polyesters and resins.

Can I use granite/travertine tile for counter tops?
Granite/Travertine tiles can be used for a counter top surface It is also essential to seal the tiles after installation to avoid staining.

Staining, what about marble or granite?
Marble is a mineral and, as such, is porous. In other words, marble may absorb liquids, which can result in staining. Granite is very dense, and as a general rule, does not stain. On colors, however, moisture may penetrate if left for a long time on the granite, but usually any dark spots will dry out and disappear. It is also recommended that marble and granite applications be sealed after installation.

What is the difference in floor and wall tile?
Floor tiles are designed for high foot traffic areas, wall tile are not designed for foot traffic. However floor tile can be installed on a wall, whereas wall tile is not recommended for flooring application.

What is the best tile for indoor/outdoor?
Outdoor ceramic tile is labeled as “frost resistant”, porcelain, or natural stones are suitable for outdoor install. Ceramic tile should not be installed when the air temperature is below 45 degrees, the mortar will not bond.

What is the best way to clean my tile/stone/grout?
Manufacture recommendations are to be followed. The following web site may be helpful for do it your self cleaning
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/steamcleangrout

Can I install tile over existing flooring?
Ceramic tile can be laid over some existing floor coverings, but this is an installer decision that has to be determined before or during install on onsite.

What kind of grout should I use for ceramic, stone, glass, etc?
Manufacture specs should be followed. It depends on the size of the grout line desired and the product being installed.

What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring offers the look of hardwood or stone flooring, but without the expense and required maintenance.
Laminate flooring usually is made from high-density fiber or wood particles, with a laminate overlay that is designed to look like wood or stone. A clear, hard layer is placed on top, giving the laminate floor its durability. Laminate flooring has become a popular way to update the look of a home. Some Pros for laminate flooring are: 1) Price and Installation 2) Durability 3) Resale Value

What is engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is an exciting alternative to solid hardwood flooring. Engineered flooring is a combination of finish wood and plywood compressed together. The finish wood is what you see and walk on. The plywood underneath comprises 80-90% of the floor.
But it’s the plywood that distinguishes engineered wood flooring from solid hardwood. Each ply runs perpendicular to its adjacent ply, giving dimensional strength to the compressed board.

Is engineered wood, real wood?
Engineered wood is real wood. It is a sandwich of 1/16″ to 1/8″ of finish wood on top and on-finish plywood underneath. So, what you’re looking at is 100% genuine wood.

What is solid wood?
Solid wood is a term most commonly used to distinguish between ordinary lumber and engineered wood, but it also refers to structures that do not have hollow spaces. Perhaps the greatest advantage of solid wood is appearance. Solid wood is stronger than fiberboard, but not as strong as plywood or oriented strand board.

Should the flooring materials acclimatize prior to installation?
Whether you choose hardwood flooring or artificially preserved and packaged wooden material for flooring in the form of laminate flooring, engineered flooring or the natural substance like bamboo, cork etc; flooring demands a lot of care. The beauty of hardwood flooring is determined by the quality of floor products manufacturing as well from the pre-installation care and post-installation maintenance.

Hardwood floors are made out of wood which is a living material. Hence, such a floor type undergoes changes even after packaging as well as installation. Living material undergoes physical and chemical change due to phenomenon of metabolism in cells. To fight the damage and deterioration or changes in wooden flooring, we can rely on the process of acclimatization. Acclimatization is when the materials are allowed to “lay or be stored” in the house or building they will be installed in, prior to installation. Manufacturer guidelines determine the length of time, usually 48 to 72 hours.