Should I use a sanded or non-sanded grout?
Depending on which products you choose, a sanded grout may be necessary. Typically anything with a grout joint larger than 1/8” will require a sanded grout for stability such as with the pebble, irregular mosaics, and porcelain tiles. For glass, metal, aluminum mosaics, and any other materials that are subject to light scratches, a non-sanded grout is recommended. If grout joints are anticipated to be larger than 1/8” or movement is expected in the application, then an additive must be mixed in with the grout for stability or flexibility.
Do I grout the Natural Stone Split Face Mosaics?
No. The Split Face Collections should not be grouted. The individual tiles should be installed as tightly together as possible. We recommend doing a dry fit prior to installation to make sure that the tiles are interlocking and lining up correctly. The use of a rubber mallet may be necessary to make sure the tiles are tapped closely together.
Do I grout the Standing Pebble / Stacked Stone Collection?
No. It is not necessary to grout the standing pebbles. It is recommended to select either white or grey thinset according to the pebble color as it sometimes shows through the mesh backing. If grouting is desired or the gaps between the pebbles are too visible, it is recommended that a medium bristle brush be used to brush away the majority of grout to better expose the pebbles’ rounded edges to the desired depth.
Why isn’t my pebble tile mosaics interlocking?
It is best to dry fit all mosaics with an interlocking edge prior to installation. It may be necessary to remove and replace pieces of the mosaic by hand to get them to fit together before you place them in adhesive. Sometimes maneuvering the sheet or flipping it around will allow you to get a tighter joint.
How do I cut your tiles?
A wet saw with a diamond blade will cut through any of our materials. You may be able to find special blades for glass, porcelain or metal tiles at your local tile supply store. The use of a hand grinder with a masonry or diamond blade may also be suitable for smaller cuts on certain materials.
Why is my sandstone warping after installation?
Sandstone needs to be installed with epoxy-based thinsets. When water based thinsets cure, the heat and moisture associated with the adhesive setting may cause the corners of the stone to warp. Using an epoxy thinset as recommended in our installation guidelines is a necessary step in installing this product correctly.
How do I finish the edges when I’m using natural stones and pebbles?
Our pebbles and natural stones do not have corresponding trims, bullnose or quarter round pieces. It is recommended to leave the edge free form since the pebbles have a rounded edge, or you can remove and replace the last row of pebbles in a straight line to finish off the end of an application. When installing flatter natural stones, you may be able to use a stone router to round off and finish the edge or even use a belt sander to bullnose the edge of the tile.
How do I finish edges when using the Split Face Mosaics?
Our Cubist and Modern collections do not have corresponding bullnose or quarter round pieces. It is recommended to leave a straight edge with a bead of grout to finish off the application.
How do I finish edges on glass tiles?
Our Glass collections have no trims, bullnose or quarter round pieces available. It is recommended to leave a straight edge with a bead of grout to finish off the application. We will be adding to our website glass pencil tiles in many colors to allow customers finish edges.
Can I use Split Face Mosaic and Standing Pebble / Stacked Stone in a shower?
A: Yes. Those mosaic tiles are made of pebble, marble and limestone and have been used in shower applications before. As long as the tiles are sealed and maintained properly, they should reject any type of soap scum on the surface. The use of a brush is necessary to clean the tiles, and they need to be rinsed with clean water on a regular basis to prevent dirt from settling in the grooves. Additional maintenance on these items in a shower application is required compared to other products that do not have such a high relief on the surface.
AESTHETICS, COLORS, AND VEINING
Why do all my natural stones look different?
The beauty of natural stone is that no two tiles will be exactly alike. You may need to order multiple samples of the same product to see a range of colors and veining. Even after ordering samples, your order may vary slightly from your initial samples. There is no way to guarantee that there will be 100% consistency in a group of tiles or in an order.
My marble looks cracked. Why does it have vertical stripes cutting across the prominent horizontal ones?
Although most of our products are vein cut to show horizontal veining in the tile, some vertical fissures will occur. Fissures are a natural part of the stone, and these deposits and surface cracks do not compromise the durability of the stone. Each stone has a different characteristic, and fissures as well as veining will be more frequent in some stones than in others. You cannot hand-select individual stones to avoid these naturally occurring variations.
CLEANERS AND SEALERS
How often should I reseal natural stones?
It is recommended that stones be sealed at least once a year depending on your maintenance and use. If you use a pH neutral cleaner, you may not need to seal as frequently. One way to tell if you need to reseal is if water does not bead up on the surface of your stone.
What sealer should I use?
There are many sealers on the market. We do not recommend one brand over another. Different sealers will give you different results. We recommend testing the sealer prior to applying it over the entire application. Some sealers will darken the stone (known as enhancers), while others can leave a matte or glossy finish. Choose your sealer based on the final look that you want to achieve. If you just want the stone to look natural, we recommend a surface penetrating sealer or impregnator.
What cleaner should I use for Metal and Aluminum tiles?
All of the metal tiles are made from stainless steel and aluminum. They are put through a heating process to achieve certain colors. You can use a stainless steel cleaner to keep them at their full potential. Do not use abrasive cleaners that will scratch the surface or ones that contain bleach or ammonia. The steel used in these tiles is similar to that in appliances: it is rust resistant.
What cleaner should I use for pebbles and stones?
Any cleaner suitable for natural stones can be used on the pebbles. Stay away from harsh cleaners with bleaches or ammonia, as these may cause the pebble to dull over time. Contact your tile supply store for recommendations on pH neutral cleaners for stones.
What cleaner should I use for glass?
A: Any non abrasive glass cleaner can be used on any of our glass tiles.
ABOUT PORCELAIN TILES
What is a rectified tile?
A rectified tile is defined as a tile that has had all edges mechanically finished to achieve a more precise facial dimension. All rectified tiles whether Glazed Ceramic, Glazed Porcelain, or Polished Porcelain Tiles need to be installed with a minimum of a 1/16Th inch grout joint. Rectified Tiles are cut to make the tile installation tighter, but not together based on industry standards.
What are the advantages of porcelain tile over natural stone?
Porcelain Tile Natural Stone Less Porous More Porous Less Absorption Greater Absorption Smaller Water Stain Larger Water Stain More Resistance Less Resistance Easy to cut Difficult to cut Less Thick Thicker Light framework Heavy framework Less expensive freight More expensive freight Less expensive labor More expensive labor Less expensive laying system More expensive laying system Stains less Stains more Scratches less Scratches more Ecologically Correct Ecologically destructive