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Tile Questions

1. What’s involved if a tile gets cracked and has to be replaced?

The grout surrounding the broken tile, the tile, and the adhesive beneath the broken tile all must be removed. A new tile is set, and re-grouted. There are tools designed to enable this work. You may wish to have a professional do the job. Because “these things happen”, it is a great idea to save a few tiles from the original installation, and to note the brand and color designation for the grout.

2. Are there areas where I shouldn’t be putting tile?

There are tile products for practically every surface in your home – floors, walls, counter tops, indoors and outdoors. But, every tile is not right for every setting. Tile is rated based on several factors which tells you whether it is good for floors, or not, is likely to be slippery when wet, or not, etc. Your Macco’s Floor Covering Center associate will help you focus your selection on the right source.

3. What the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

Porcelain is actually a type of ceramic tile. It is made with the mineral feldspar added to the mix, and fired at a higher temperature. The result is a harder tile, with almost zero water absorbency. Porcelain tiles hold up to the heaviest foot traffic, and can be installed outdoors as well as in.

4. Love, love, love natural stone tiles…any problems using them in my home?

There are just a few things to keep in mind. Nothing matches the natural stone look, exactly, but some manufactured flooring comes pretty close. Don’t use natural stone, including marble, for shower floors or surrounds, or any place where they are likely to be subject to prolonged contact with water. This is because natural stone is too porous, and the water will eventually cause staining and problems with the grout. Natural stone can be sealed, to improve stain resistance. Some styles of stone tiles have a highly polished surface and can be slippery. Expect stone tiles to cost more than most ceramic tiles. Watch the potential for sharp edges and corners for you installation.

5. Can I combine different types of tile on my floor?

Absolutely. Pay attention to the traffic rating, sometimes called the PEI rating, for each type, to ensure it will perform properly in your space, and pay attention to the thickness of the tiles, to ensure they will produce a consistent surface height. Otherwise, measure your floor space, lay it out on a piece of graph paper, and get creative!

6. Tile is my first choice for my kitchen renovation, but I worry about dishes being dropped and broken. Any thoughts about that?

Let me reassure you that all your dishes will bounce and be fine, except the ones you really care about. Tile is the classic choice for kitchens…beautiful, easy to clean, super durability, stain resistant. Your best bet for avoiding breakage is to include a nice thick area rug (on a slip resistant pad) in the dish-handling area. You’ll love the comfort, too. Don’t overlook the luxury vinyl tile option. It is definitely softer than ceramic, and you might find yourself really appreciating the beautiful styles.

7. What is the best way to take care of grout on a tile floor?

Grout requires regular cleaning – mopping with a mild soap-and-water solution, then rinsing with clear water. Regular cleaning helps prevent dirt from being ground into the grout. You will find products on the market for sealing grout lines, making them more impervious to water and staining, but there are different points of view about when and where that is a good practice, so consult with your Macco’s Floor Covering Center associate about the specifics of your situation.

8. Is tile installation a good DIY project?

Installing floor tile requires specific skills and tools. Most installations require tiles to be cut to fit, which requires a tile saw. That being said, everybody who has tile-setting skills had to learn at some point. The best advice might be to watch some on-line videos to get a sense of what is involved, ask among your friends to identify a skilled and will assistant, and be sure your Macco’s Floor Covering Center associate knows that you are planning to tackle the job as a relative novice. With that information, the associate can make certain that you’ve got everything your installation will require. Good luck!

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