Friday, December 4, 2009

Tile to Tile Transition....

Often here in Florida when doing a new tile installation we come across
other rooms that already have tile in them that we need to tile up to.
Usually a carpet or laminate area that the homeowner wants to remove and have new tile installed and the new tile we are installing will run into another tiled room (ie: kitchen, bath, hall bath, laundry, etc.).

So my common practice is to direct the customer/home owner to let me install an "Indian Blanket" cut tile pattern to divide those two tiled area's up to really define each area. Also if by chance the grout joints almost align it would look like a failed attempt to line up one tiled area to another new tiled area. Thus this method will break up the direct grout lines.

You could cut the corners off a field tile and install the diamonds side by side, use a few strips of 2x2 mosaic or even a deco tile. This can also be used when two types of tile run into each other in an open area like when trying to divide a straight laid tiled room into a diagonal tiled room.

Here is a recent one we did where the homeowner wanted us to remove the carpet throughout the home and old tile in the front foyer and install a new 20x20 Porcelain tile in their town house/condo at the beach in Tarpon Springs, Florida. They wanted to leave the kitchen tile since it was new and they liked it.

Here are few other examples of "Indian Blanket" door patterns.

.....Example 1.........Example 2.........Example 4........Example 5

Friday, November 20, 2009

Importance of Waterproofing a Shower....

Being a Professional Tile Contractor/Installer in Tampa, Florida and helping out on tile help forums I have noticed people are always asking about info on damaged showers and tubs for water damage, rot, grout discoloration, efflorescence, leaks or black mold.

The lack of a pan liner or surface membrane is usually the main reason these problems occur. Professional tile contractors who know the importance of a properly built shower with a pan liner & pre-slope, a bonded waterproofing sheet membrane or a liquid applied membrane.

Mold and rot occur when water gets absorbed into the grout and then seeps into the cementboard or drywall and then starts rotting the studs. Also when drywall is used the problems are even worse because the mold feeds on the paper face of the drywall. Mold loves cellulose and spreads throughout the damp wet area behind your wall.
As the leak goes unnoticed the damage and mold become worse.

When a shower liner is used without a pre-slope the water sits in the mud pan and slowly deteriorates/breaks down the mud bed and fills with mold/sludge. Sometimes the weep holes then become clogged with calcium deposits and efflorescence forms on the grout joints from the water drying up through the grout to the surface. A bonded surface membrane will solve these problems.

While we still do and have been doing traditional pan liners for as long back as I have been doing tile for (21 years), newer, updated ways of waterproofing a shower have been developed like Schluter Kerdi, Noble TS, Laticrete HydroBan Laticrete Hydro Barrier & Custom Building Products Redgard.
All excellent surface applied waterproofing membranes.

I tell customers it's good to spend the extra money now to do it right or you will spend 3 times the money tearing it out a few years later by doing it wrong.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tile Selection in Florida......

Ceramic, Porcelain, Marble or Stone?

The selection of tile is almost limitless, especially here in Florida where there are so many domestic and imported tile from around the world shipped here.
Many homeowners are taking the selection of their tile more seriously than ever before. The old traditional look of 4x4 or 6x6 ceramics on the walls and floors is falling to the wayside as consumers look for the perfect tile for their projects.

Then, of course, comes the question: What is the best choice?
Tiles come in a wide variety of materials including clay, porcelain, and even glass among other choices. The durability of tile is graded in hardness. The more dense the tile, the harder the finished surface is. Porcelain, for instance, is the best tile in terms of density and hardness. Porcelain tile has color all the way through the tile versus screen print or glazed tiles, which are basically painted only on the surface. Porcelain will lasts longer with fewer problems with wear. Porcelain is also preferred for outside installations because it is more frost resistant.

Marble and stone are in a class all by themselves. Natural stone tile require more care in selection and maintenance. Installation of these materials is more labor intensive requiring a greater degree of skill and know-how to install them. Prices for stone materials are typically higher than ceramic or porcelain tiles and installation costs reflect the degree of difficulty to install them. Stone tile bring nature into your Florida home. They add a feeling of luxury and permanency. Granite counter tops in kitchens and baths combined with a tumbled marble backs plash make for a classy look and feel to any Florida home.

The tile you select for your project is just as important as the installer. Leave some money in your budget for a quality tile job. Once installed, tile can't be changed as easily as your paint color. Consider all the options and textures for tile and plan to spend a day or two looking at several different distributors. Be careful of discount tile, as it is sometimes inferior in quality and ultimately will make for a bad tile job. Remember, you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on your tile project. It will costs much more down the road to repair or replace your tile if done incorrectly and cheap.
Tampa Bay ,Lutz ,Oldsmar ,Apollo Beach, Ybor City, Gibsonton, Carrollwood, Northdale, Lake Magdalene, Palm River-Clair Mel, Progress Village, Riverview, Temple Terrace, University, Westchase, Wesley Chapel, Hillsborough County,
...............Ceramic..........................Porcelain................Marble/Natural Stone

Apollo Beach, Bloomingdale, Boyette, Brandon, Cheval, Citrus Park, Dover, East Lake-Orient Park, Egypt Lake-Leto, Fish Hawk, Gibsonton, Greater Carrollwood, Greater Northdale, Greater Sun Center, Keystone, Lake Magdalene, Lutz, Mango, Palm River-Clair Mel, Pebble Creek, Plant City, Lakeland, St. Pete, Progress Village, Riverview, Ruskin, Seffner, Tampa, Temple Terrace, Thonotosassa, University, Valrico, Westchase, Wimauma, TAMPA FL

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grout and Sealers for Tile.........

since we are a Ceramic, Quarry, Saltillo, Porcelain & Travertine
Tile Contractor in Florida these questions come up to us a lot
from Homeowners, Builders, Architects & Customers.

I hope this will explain to you some of the differences.


Grout for ceramic tile is a cement-based bonding material used for filling joints between tiles. The space left between tiles to be filled is called a grout joint. The grout joint between the tiles is usually very porous, therefore, it needs to be sealed and maintained properly to prevent stains and discoloration. Protected tile and grout for ceramic tile will be easier to clean, more resistant staining, and provide a safer and healthier environment.

Types of grout for ceramic tile:

There are four basic types of grout for ceramic tile: Unsanded, fine sanded, quarry type and epoxy.

* Unsanded grout for ceramic tile: This is used for wall tiles where the grout joint is less than 1/8" wide.
* Finely Sanded grout for ceramic tile: This is used for floor tiles where the joints are 1/8" to 3/8" wide.
* Quarry-type grout for ceramic tile: This is the same as finely sanded grout for ceramic tiles except that a coarser grade of sand is used. The quarry-type grout for ceramic tile is used for joints that are 3/8" wide to 1/2" wide such as those used with Saltillo tiles.
* Epoxy grout for ceramic tile: This consists of an epoxy resin and hardener. Epoxy grout for ceramic tile is highly resistant to stains and chemicals and has a tremendous bonding strength. It is ideal for countertops and other areas susceptible to stains.

Some important considerations when choosing grout for ceramic tile:

* The wider the joint, the coarser the sand has to be. The sand prevents the grout for ceramic tile from shrinking and cracking.
* Grout for ceramic tiles comes in a wide variety of pre-mixed colors.
* The standard size of wall joint is 1/16" wide.
* The standard size of grout joint for floor tiles is 1/4" wide (finely sanded).
* Because floor tiles may vary slightly in size, grout joints in the floor tiles should not be smaller than 3/16". The installer will not be able to keep a straight line if the joint is too narrow.
* Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains.
* To prevent or limit staining problems in grout for ceramic tile, latex additives or a sealer is recommended. The latex additive forms a rubber-like film over the pores in the grout for ceramic tile, thus limiting its tendency to absorb stains. However, it is not completely stain proof.


A sealer is a liquid coat applied to the porous surface of the tile or grout, to protect them from oxidation, natural deterioration and day-to-day wear. Typically speaking, sealers are used to protect unglazed tiles and grouts from absorbing stains. Take a look at these guidelines, which are meant to get you started when it comes to choosing the right sealant for your ceramic or porcelain tile project:


There are two types of major types of sealers for ceramic tile or porcelain tile:

* Penetrating Sealers: These are absorbed into the tile or grout, forming a stain resistant shield just below the surface. Most penetrating sealers will not change the appearance of the tile.
* Surface Sealers: These are coated on the top of tile and grout, forming a non-porous, stain resistant sealant. The surface sealer will enhance the rich natural colors of the tile and adds a slight luster as well.

Important Considerations:

* The surface of most ceramic and porcelain tiles does not need to be sealed, although some require a light application of a penetrating sealer to fill the micro pores on the surface of the tile.
* However, all unglazed tiles including dense porcelains, should be sealed prior to grouting. It will prevent the grout from staining the tile, especially when a dark colored grout is being used with a light colored tile.
* Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains.
* Highly absorbent tiles such as hand made Saltillo tiles must be permanently sealed with either a penetrating or surface sealer.
* Use only penetrating sealers on dense, unglazed tiles such as quarries or porcelains.
* It is important to follow your distributor's recommendations as well as reading the instructions on the product being used.

It's a good idea to ask the experts about which type of sealer performs best for the type of tile you have for further details. If color change is a concern, or staining resistance, then these are the questions to put to your seller. Talk to your ceramic or porcelain sales rep, or your local retailer about the latest products for sealing ceramic tile, porcelain tile, quarry tile, saltillo tile or travertine tile. Ask about whether penetrating sealers vs. surface sealers with regard to your specific tile and aesthetic expectations & find out which is the best fit for your project.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Types of Porcelain tiles...

Depending on project objectives, porcelain tile may be purchased in glazed, unglazed or polished varieties. There are two main types of porcelain tile: Through-bodied porcelain and glazed porcelain.

Through-Bodied Porcelain

Term: The term "through-body" refers to the tile being consistent in composition through out the body of the tile. The color and texture runs through the entire dimensional thickness of the tile.

Strong and Dense Tile
Freeze/Thaw Stable for Exterior Use
Usually Slip Resistant unless polished
Superior Scratch & Chip Resistance
Similar color throughout if chip occurs
Choices may be limited
Material should be sealed

Composition: Through-body tile is derived from mixtures of clay, sand and other natural minerals that are shaped into tile and fired at high temperatures. Through-bodied porcelain does not have a glaze. The clay is pressed and then fired.

Appearance: Through-body tile is considered as one of the most fashionable choices for floors, walls and countertops. It may have texture and color applied to the surface before firing but it is still the porcelain material from top to bottom. The color of the tile runs throughout its body.

Performance: The pressed dust method results in a porcelain tile with a density so high the water absorption is less than 0.5%. It is a strong tile that can withstand extreme surface traffic. There is no glaze that can wear off. If the tile chips, the same or similar color is underneath.

Usage: Through-bodied porcelain tiles can be used for both residential and heavy commercial installations. They can also be installed at wet locations and areas where slip resistant floors are needed.

Glazed Porcelain

Term: Glaze is a glass wear layer or hard finish (usually colored), applied to the surface of machine-made clay tiles. The term "glaze" can also refer to the material or mixture from which the coating is made.

Strong and Dense Tile
Freeze/Thaw Stable for Exterior Use
Superior Stain Resistance
Many Choices in Color and Style
Only seal if glaze has been polished

Composition: Glazed porcelain has a body made of the porcelain material and a glaze applied over the surface. It is almost similar to that of a regular ceramic tile. It is fired in a kiln and the result is a very strong bodied tile.

Appearance: Glazing, either shiny or matte, provides the most beautiful and varied colors, designs and decorations in ceramic tiles. Most bright, flashy tiles you see in tile displays are glazed.

Performance: Glazed tiles are non-porous. The glaze being an impervious facial finish protects tile from stains and moisture. These tiles are usually easier to maintain and can be treated for a higher slip resistance.

Usage: Vitreous glazed floor tiles are a durable option for counter tops and walls, providing a surface that is practically stain-proof. However, glazed porcelain is not recommended for heavy commercial installations.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shade Variation in Ceramic & Porcelain Tile....

Many popular styles of ceramic tiles are designed and manufactured to appear and feel like natural stone, imitating their rugged surface and color variation. It's important to understand these variations while selecting and laying out your ceramic tile flooring. You will always be provided with a wide range of glazes, different gloss levels, colors and texture variations to choose from. Your choice should depend on the conditions present at your chosen location, whether commercial or residential.

A commonly preferred choice is a solid color tile because of its consistent look. However, shade variation is a natural factor in all fired ceramic products. In fact, certain tiles will show a certain amount variation even within their dye lots.

For the benefit of better understanding on the part of the consumer, shade variation categories have been devised to enable consumers choose their desired shade spectrum. These shade variation ratings are mentioned on the back label of each sample within either of the low, moderate, high or random categories.

Here is a brief explanation of these categories:

Low: Consistent shade and texture
Moderate: Moderate shade and texture variation
High: High shade and texture variation
Random: Very high shade and texture variation

The color of the tiles body is determined by the color of the clay used to manufacture it. It is usually the clay available in the surrounding regions of the manufacturing facility or sometimes imported from another region. You can have a look at the body of tile to find out if the color is red or white. The quality, however, depends on the processing standards of the manufacturers rather than the color of the body.

Color variations will also be present within the manufacturer's samples of tile of the same color. Moreover, it can be seen throughout the installed tiles on counter tops, walls and floors.

a couple of good tile manufacturers we use at Ceramictec Tile Contractors use are Crossville and Marazzi. to us they are a really good quality porcelain tile and made in the U.S.A.

If you have a particular tendency towards color consistency, then understanding the facts and talking to your tile contractor about your expectations can be a worthwhile pursuit.

some shade variations can be a beautiful thing.
like this full house tile renovation in Lakeland Florida for a customer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making a Marble or Porcelain Soap Shelf.....

Customers here in Tampa & Orlando Florida are always asking me for a soap shelf to be installed in their new shower. Some go out a buy the basic ceramic corner shelf and want me to put that in. They are pretty big and usually the ceramic glaze colors doesn't match the nice porcelain or marble that is being installed in their shower.

So my advice to them is to let me make a corner soap shelf out of the marble or porcelain tile that I and using in the shower. I can also make them like this out of porcelain tile but it needs to be a through body porcelain tile for me to make that happen.

I cut the shelf the way I want it shaped, then use a profile bullnose blade to create the rounded edge. Polish the edge to the desired finish and install.

here is a quick picture tutorial on how I make
and install a marble corner soap shelf.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kitchen Tile Refreshing for a Realtor....

With home sales slow throughout the US some Realtor's are finding
ways to make the homes they are selling more appealing and fresh.

Here's a job I did for a Realtor I do work for in the Tampa, Florida area.

They were trying to spruce up a house to sell so I came up with
this refreshing inlay with leftover Porcelain tile they had from
the back splash extra tile laying in the garage.

I was able to figure out how much old ceramic tile to remove so it would
be symmetrical in the kitchen. I had 3 pieces of the 6x6 tile left over
and a few strips left from the cut 1/2"x1/2" mosaic sheets.

This same house has a full shower gut due to mold and rot from some
leaks with the builder not doing proper waterproofing.

You have to love a Florida shower with no liner or waterproofing!

Cant wait to rip that tile shower out....


Monday, September 7, 2009

Floor Tile Comparisons...

Tile Comparison for your Florida tile selection:

(Granite Tile - Marble Tile - Slate Tile - Pebble Tile – Glass Tile – Porcelain Tile)

Tile is the often choice for the surface of high-end applications.
They are averagely priced but they provide incomparable beauty
and elegance to your home.

If you are considering tile you should be aware of the general characteristics of all the tiles types out there and the options available to you including installation before making your final decision. Especially, when more and more applications are using tiles, you might need to consider a tile specific to your application.

The following table is a summary for the feature of a few types of tile.

Granite Tile:
Slippery Surface - High
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch- Average
Color - Good
Installation - Good
Resistant to Chemicals& Acids – Bad
Price - Fine

Marble Tile:
Slippery Surface - High
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch - Bad
Color - Good
Installation - Good
Resistant to Chemicals & Acids - Bad
Price - Fine

Slate Tile:
Slippery Surface - Average
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch - Bad
Color - Low
Installation - Good
Resistant to Chemicals & Acids - Bad
Price - Fine

Pebble Tile:
Slippery Surface - Good
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch - Good
Color - Good
Installation - Easy
Resistant to Chemicals & Acids - Good
Price – Average

Glass Tile:
Slippery Surface - High
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch - High
Color - Excellent
Installation - Hard
Resistant to Chemicals & Acids - Good
Price – High

Porcelain Tile:
Slippery Surface - Average
Resistant to Breakage & Scratch - Excellent
Color - Excellent
Installation - Easy
Resistant to Chemicals & Acids - Excellent
Price - Average

Also all tile feels hard, but some types of tile are actually harder than others.
Tile is rated by a series of standardized tests. The tests evaluate a tile's relative hardness (the Moh scale), its ability to stand up to wear and the percentage of water absorbed.

The Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings are:

* Group I - Light Traffic: residential bathroom floors.
* Group II - Medium Traffic: home interiors where little abrasion occurs.
* Group III - Medium-Heavy Traffic: any home interior.
* Group IV - Heavy Traffic: homes or light to medium commercial areas.
* Group V- Extra Heavy Traffic: use it anywhere.

These ratings are important, but don't get too bogged down in analysis.
they serve to help you find the right tile for your application.

Based on the table shown above, the Porcelain tile is a very good choice for many applications like a Bathroom Shower, Garden Tub, Kitchen, Backsplash, Foyer, Lanai, Patio, Porch, Fireplace, Swimming Pool, Pool Deck, Fountain, etc.

Here in Florida, especially the area’s of Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota, Lakeland, Orlando, Daytona & Jacksonville the porcelain tile is a very big seller and Ceramictec has installed it in a wide variety of applications.

Hope this will be helpful for your selection of a tile.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Travertine Tile Installation in Tampa, Florida

One way of making your Tampa Florida home standout in style is by installing Travertine tile flooring. Having installed our fair share of Travertine tile in Florida in area's like Tampa, Lakeland, St. Pete, Sarasota, Brandon, Bradenton, Lutz & Wesley Chapel, this style of flooring will work virtually everywhere in your home and the designs and styles are numerous which also makes it very versatile. The ranges of flooring are numerous and finding the perfect design to fit in with your decor is easy, however if you want to totally change your decor and try something new.

here are some Travertine flooring ideas you might not have considered.

What is Travertine:
To begin with, Travertine flooring is also known by several other names, some of the most common include Oriental alabaster, Egyptian alabaster, onyx marbles and Mexican onyx.

Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from geothermally heated hot-springs. Similar (but more porous) deposits formed from ambient temperature water are known as tufa.

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. Travertine is formed by minerals dissolving in ground water and then being deposited on the earth’s surface by rivers, natural springs, or geysers.

This beautiful flooring not only adds style to your home but also adds value.

Good and Bad Points:
As with all types of flooring Travertine has both good and bad points which have to be considered before going for this type of flooring. Its good points include being tough and hard wearing and there is a diverse range of styles to choose from as the stone comes in a wide range of some of the most beautiful colors imaginable.

The bad points are if you like a highly polished surface then they can become very slippery which could cause problems when laid in areas of high traffic and you have to avoid the use of acidic products on the unsealed stone. Acidic products which could spoil the beauty of this natural stone include the spillage of orange juice or vinegar. So great care has to be taken and thought has to be given when thinking of installing in the kitchen or dining area.

Travertine Ideas and Finishes:
Another plus which bodes well when it comes to diversity is the fact that the flooring comes in four different finishes, the choice of which to some extent will depend on where you intend to install the flooring.

One of the most beautiful finishes due to the way that the stone reflects the light is the polished, but as mentioned before this can be slippery. A smooth surface can be found with the honed stone due to its matte finish and brushed and tumbled stone has a slightly textured surface which holds a beauty entirely of its own.

Whether you are trying to portray a contemporary or rustic image, Travertine flooring is unbeatable. When going for the rustic look then a cream or natural colored stone that has a brushed surface and is left unfilled will indeed give just that.

Filled polished tiles are used for a more conservative look due to their highly reflective surface and look gorgeous when laid out over a larger open plan area. If you want a different look with travertine flooring you can choose to go mosaic and of course the rustic honed surface is the perfect choice when it comes to designing a mosaic floor.

Unusual Uses for Travertine Flooring:
Although traditionally Travertine flooring is of course used when it comes to installing new flooring it can also produce stunning effects when used for more unusual decoration.

Some uses which can show Travertine off at its best include using polished or tumbled travertine in the kitchen as a back splash. using matte stone on the floor of the shower stall and highly polished stone on the walls. Due to the natural beauty of a brushed or tumbled stone incorporating inconsistency and texture on each individual stone. one of my favorite patterns using travertine is the Chiseled Edge in a Versailles Pattern or the Honed Finish in a Brick Pattern.

visit our Ceramictec picture Gallery of ways to use Travertine Tile in Florida:

Ceramictec Gallery

A+ work on the Master Bath...Thx Brian...We will be using you in the future.

Lance P
Palm Harbor, FL.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Florida Condo Owner's Tile Nightmare. . . .

About 9 months ago I got a call from a Custom Builder I do work for.
He asked me to take a look at a friends job a handyman/painter/tile guy
did in a condo in Clearwater Beach, Florida. I like this builder so I agreed to look at it.

Once the appointment was set up I met with the lady. She was a very nice,
a hard working single woman that relocated from up North to Florida.
Looking at the floor it was horrible with about 15 visual things I could see
wrong with it not counting other installation errors.

She was so upset at how the tile was installed and turned out and how the guy treated her at the end she had no clue what to do. Since she bought the tile/material, she didn't pay him for the labor since the job was disgusting.

The "handyman" then threatened to take her to court and put a lien on her condo if she didn't pay in cash. At that point I was furious and disgusted that someone could do this type of work to a nice woman like her, so I agreed to help her out.

I talked to a friend of mine in the area that sits on the County Construction
Codes Board and he told me to have her take him to small claims court.
From there I compiled a list of problems with pictures and gave to her.
The court date came, she went in with her list compiled from me and
pictures backing up the bad work.

Needless to say she won the case in about 5 minutes after the judge looked
at the tile pictures and list Ceramictec compiled for her. He (the handyman) needed to pay for removal of the tile and replacement of material & tile lost.
He didn't need to pay for the labor since she didn't pay him.

The handyman also didn't have his Insurance that he told the condo management he had. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Below you will see pictures with list of problems I gave her.

to whom it may concern,

After my Inspection of your tile job you had done by a Handyman
it is in my Professional experience I see the following mistakes that make
the job look less then professional and not acceptable.

1) Floor was laid out incorrectly and not square to the walls in your house.
he did not know how to square a floor or layout tile work.
2) This therefore made all cuts throughout your place cut at angles gaining in size and incorrect.
3) The main room of your place walls are square. he should have laid out off this area.
4) Cuts "in the U shape" at doors and corners are pieced together are not professionally cut.
5) Cuts at door jambs are too wide and not cut correctly.
6) Floor is not flat and has many dips and high tiles
7) Tile is set crooked /not straight with various size joints from 3/16" to a 1/2"
(unacceptable joint variances)
8) Grout was not properly grouted and joints have a lot of divots and low spots.
9) Grout residual not cleaned off of the tile. haze throughout job
10) Thinset sticking up through grout in some area's
11) Your wood baseboard will not cover several short cut tile along the wall.
12) Cuts along wall and other places vary in sizes. they should be all the same. this is due to (his) the crooked floor.
13) Tile in bathroom set on gloss tile did not bond and it is a 1/2" higher then main floor.
14) Bathroom floor tile should have been removed prior to tiling.
this created an elevated tile area.
15) Improper thinset was used to set porcelain tile. no bond to the porcelain tile.
16) I have taken (18) pictures to prove these statements.
17) the whole job is unacceptable and should be removed and done correctly
by a Qualified Florida Tile Contractor

here is the finished job after "Ceramictec" did it the correct way.

A letter from the homeowner:


I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you have done for me and the beauty you created in my home. My floors were a nightmare and I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work, dependability and professionalism. Your pictures before and after speak for themselves.

Thank you always,


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Achieving a Flat Tiling Surface....

When doing a tight joint with a polished natural stone or a tight joint
with a polished or unpolished porcelain tile it is very important that
your substrate be very flat so the finished tile work will look great.

To get a nice finished tile floor you need to start from the beginning and make sure the substrate it flat, smooth and strong. This will ensure that when your
tile contractor is setting the tile you don't have rolls, lips or uneven tile.
The prep work can make or break a tile project.

Doing a lot of home tile renovations and new homes in Florida in the Tampa, Lakeland, Sarasota, Orlando & the Daytona areas I have seen my fair share
of horrible wavy slabs with humps, dips and incorrect rough textures.

There are many ways of correcting this......

One would be using an SLC (Self leveling Cement).
Another way could be Floating the floor with Thinset.
Or even doing a Sand & Portland Wetbed/Mudbed.

If the slab or floor area cannot be properly made flat.
You could also "wetset" mud the tile or natural stone when you set it.

When you have small humps using a grinder with a cup wheel to grind
down the humps works well, or using an electric chipping hammer with
a bushing bit on it to break down the humps also works.

There are other more aggressive ways to correct a bad slab with humps
or to remove old thinset like using a scarifying machine to grind or
a shot blaster to make smooth.

A good Tile Contractor with the right selection of a deeper notched trowel
and back buttering of the tile can make a slab with minor imperfections a smooth work of art.

With the proper Tile Contractor all of these methods
can help you achieve a smooth finished tiled floor.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Glass Tile in Bathrooms and Beyond......

Here in Florida we install all sorts of tile sizes, textures, colors and makes.
Porcelain, Ceramic & travertine being the most widely used.

One of the trickiest tile to set would be the Glass Tile. Glass tile are tricky
due to numerous setting reasons as you will see when researching a tile contractor. I would recommend you select a Tile Contractor that is
familiar with setting Glass Tile.

Glass Tile are being used in the Bathroom on the walls and floors
as accent bands and deco's. shower floors, back splashes, pools

Glass floor tiles are usually set on a crack membrane with a white,
fast setting & flexible thinset. You need to set them so there are
no pockets of air trapped under the tiles. An uneven install with
pockets will eventually crack the tiles when they are walked on.

A normal glass tile is no different from polished porcelain in terms of
C.O.F.. Like any gloss tile glass tiles are usually slippery when wet.
If small a format (1 × 1") tiles are used on floors the frequent grout lines
create texture that will slightly inhibit slippage and add more C.O.F..

Glass tile manufacturers Villiglas, Interstyle, Oceanside and Vetrotile
all manufacture glass floor tiles that are made with a textured surface
that provides a high Coefficient Of Friction.

The use of Glass Tile is becoming more popular and discussed more
on Tile Help Forums these days like the John Bridge Tile Forum.

one of the best ways and my favorite way to set glass tile here in Florida
is by using the Laticrete one-step method for setting Glass Tile.

this will consists of using the Laticrete Sanded Grout (1500 Series)
mixed with Laticrete 4237 Latex Thin-Set Mortar Additive.

There is a wide variety of Glass Tile finishes to choose from like glossy, iridescent, etched, metallic or printed, and textures like flat, rippled, relief
or dimpled. And also tile sizes from 1", 2", 4", 5", 6", 8" and even large sized
glass tile 12" up to 24" in size.

with new manufacturing techniques glass tile continues to advance with variations in textures, styles & colors and continue to in the years to come.

So no matter what size, style or color of Glass Tile you choose I'm sure
you will love coming home to the new area you have transformed.