Buyer Tips

Layout Patterns

We encourage creativity and imagination when you design your job because this is going to be in your home and you are going to be looking at it day after day. There are several patterns to choose from when designing your job. Some ideas are in our gallery under “floor patterns” but don’t let this limit your creativity.

Grout Installation

When the tile is set and cured to the point that it won’t move it is time to grout. There are a few options when mixing your grout. Most all grout is designed, like most cements, to be mixed with just water. In most cases this is how grout is mixed and will usually last a few years, sometimes longer. However there is a grout admixture that takes the place of water when mixing that helps the grout’s estimated life. This also helps prevent grout shrinkage and cracking because of an improved bond. It also improves flextural strength and stain resistance, and can help with color brightness.

After your grout is installed and cured for 48 to 72 hours, it is recomended that the grout gets sealed to prevent grout porosity. This will also help immensily with stain protection.

Grout Care

When your job is complete it is vital to the life of your tile job to live up to it’s potential. Some cleaning products will harm your grout’s structural integrity, causing it to break down and loose it’s strength. This will eventually lead to grout softening, grout cracking, or the grout loosing it’s bond with the tile and falling out of the joints. You shouldn’t need more than warm water to clean the surface of your tiles and grout joints. It is not advised to use bleach or other strong solvants without reading the bag your grout mix came in to verify it will not harm that particular brand of grout.

Natural Stone Treatment
  • What area to seal?– Lets say you choose a lighter color of grout for a high foot traffic area such as an entry way. Sealing the grout will protect the grout’s color and strength. This would be a good idea if it is ceramic, porcelain, glass or natural stone. It would also be wise to seal a kitchen backsplash to protect it from any food that may come in contact with the tiled surface wile cooking. It would also protect it more from access water by the sink.
  • seal -vs- enhance – Under most circumstances we would suggest sealing or enhancing natural stone. This will ensure that your stone keeps it’s origonal color and prevent staining from any spills that may happen. The question is which one to choose. The easy way to tell is to simply get the stone wet. On a Slate or Quartz tile we would suggest using an enhancer. This is because the enhancer will bring out the variety of natural colors in the Slate or Quartz. On a Sandstone such as “Travertine” we would suggest to just use a sealer. Sandstone doesn’t have as much of a color variety as Slate or Quartz.