Care and Maintenance of Cement Tiles

Cement tiles have become quite popular in the last year or so and many people are uninformed of the care and maintenance that is needed to upkeep cement tiles. Here is some important information from Sabine Hill — one of our main cement tile manufacturers:

Sealing

Cement tile surfaces must be cleaned, free of grease, oil, dirt, wax or any other foreign matter including grout release material. Apply a high quality penetrating sealer for cement and concrete tiles and carefully follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Do NOT use any acids or alkalines to clean tiles. Use a PH neutral cleaner and fine sandpaper to remove any stains or residues. Do not allow water or other liquids to spot, pond, or ring on the surface of the tiles. Cement tiles should be regularly mopped with clear water. A cap-full of liquid wax may be added to the water to improve the tiles natural sheen. Never use acids to clean the tiles as they will damage it.

Other Considerations

Cement tiles are manufactured using natural materials. As such, it may be possible that there could be color differences between the original order and tiles ordered and manufactured subsequently, so we strongly suggest carefully calculating how many pieces you will need for your installation and then ordering a few extra pieces.

 

Keep these guidelines in mind when planning to use cement tile in your home.

Current Trends

March 2017- Current Trends

Excerpts from TILE Magazine March/April 2017 Issue

While larger format tiles are seemingly taking over the tile market, manufacturers also expressed the trending looks, which just keep evolving over time, are popular. Wood and stone looks being the most popular trends. “The current neutrals [when it comes to colors] right now are grays and the whites. Beige is kind of coming back again as well.” Micah Hand- Brand marketing manager at Marazzi USA.

Senior brand marketing manager at Daltile Kim Albrecht is seeing more visual interest in textures and believes fabric-inspired looks are the next biggest trend. “Wood-look tile is not new; what’s new is that it is continuing to rise in sales and consumers are demanding more choices,” she said. “In regard to color, gray is the new neutral. The gray is changing; it’s getting a little bit warmer. It’s not that cold, concrete block gray. Beige is also around, but it’s not as yellow as it used to be.”

Be on the look out for these trends and more in the tile industry!

Coverings 2017

Excerpts from TILE Magazine March/April 2017 Issue

Coverings is the annual international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone- this year held in Orlando, Florida. Coverings will be filled with seemingly endless rows of exhibits displaying the newest in aesthetics and technology in both the stone and tile industries.

Installation Design Showcase

In a collaborative effort between leading designers and contractors, “tiny” houses will be built on the show floor. The live-action demonstration and exhibit will feature three tiny homes being installed with tile over the course of the show by master installers, incorporating material from industry-leading tile and stone manufacturers. “The Installation Design Showcase is continually praised by show attendees for exemplifying design trends and the importance of proper installation techniques,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ Industry Ambassador. Materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, Crossville, Florim USA, Ardex, Laticrete, and Mapei will be used for the project.

Educational Opportunities

Complementing the exhibition floor will be an extensive education program, including 70+ seminars on a diverse range of topics to meet everyone’s interests and area of expertise. Coverings will provide cutting-edge sessions–free of charge to both attendees and exhibitors.

Popular Trends at the Beginning of a New Year

Natural materials are the main inspiration for tile patterns and designs. Wood, stone, and cement tiles are only becoming more realistic and textured with time. Also, decorations, graphics, and textures are in high demand. A trend we are noticing is the textile look- patterns that look like linens, fabrics, carpets- something you could just reach out and touch. Metallic looks are also gaining popularity. Shown below is a new collection from AKDO called Textile Glass. Golds, silvers, and dark gray metallic colors make up this stand out collection.

akdo-twill-gold-silk akdo-3

Care & Maintenance Questions and Answers (NTCA Reference Manual 2016/2017)

Q: Is vinegar a good cleaner for my tile or stone installation?

A: Vinegar is a mild acid. Acids do not degrease and primarily work by attacking the minerals in the grout and many stones thereby creating damage overtime. Vinegar can also compromise the sealer in the tile, stone, or grout. A neutral pH or specialty tile or stone cleaner should be used.

Q: Can I clean my tile or stone with lemon oil to bring it back to life?

A: Lemon oil or cleaners containing oil will darken and appear to rejuvenate the appearance of tile or stone. However this effect is temporary and often they leave behind residues that remain tacky and serve as a dirt and dust collector. A neutral pH or specialty tile or stone cleaner is recommended for routine cleaning. For certain tiles or stones, a color enhancing sealer can be used to darken and highlight the character.

Q: Does grout really need to be sealed?

A: All cementitious grout, unless otherwise stated in the technical data sheet, is porous and subject to staining if not properly sealed. Sealing also reduces the ongoing maintenance requirements and helps preserve the original look.

For more cleaning and maintenance questions feel free to contact TileCraft, Inc. We usually keep stock of sealers, cleaners, and enhancers that are specifically made to work with tile and stone products. Poor cleaning and upkeep can ruin a beautiful tile installation!

Crossville, Inc. Celebrates 30th Anniversary this year!

Crossville, Inc. was the first American-based tile manufacturer to produce tile in Crossville, Tennessee beginning in 1986. The company has had many firsts which include: first to produce large format tile onsite, manufacture tile with recycled content, develop the ability to recycle fired porcelain, achieve certification of its waste recycling program and the TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all U.S. produced tile collections, and much more.

Fun fact: They have used recycled porcelain toilets in their tile production!

To read the full article about Crossville, Inc. view Tile Magazine September/October 2016 titled “Three decades of hard work and dedication” by Heather Fiore.

TEC Ultimate Performance Grout- Power Grout

TEC Power Grout is a breakthrough in grout technology. It maximizes performance while providing ease of use. Power Grout provides excellent performance in virtually any environment, including high traffic and wet conditions, and in residential and commerical applications.

  • Highly stain resistant, never needs sealing
  • Fast-setting; open to traffic in 4 hours
  • Color accurate and resistant to efflorescence
  • Universal formula for wall and floor applications
  • Crack and shrink resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Exceeds ANSI A118.7 Specifications
  • Interior/Exterior Use
  • Zero VOC

With 32 colors available, TEC Power Grout is an amazing product for any installation!

Trends from International Event Cevisama 2016

In March of 2016, Cevisama conference held in Castellon, Spain showcased new trends and updates for the tile industry. New tile formats in size and thickness, basic and neutral colors, combinations of rustic and elegant styles, and a mixture of designs and textures are some of the trends that were introduced. Styles and design ideas for you to keep in mind this year:

Single colors- continual color between walls and floors make furniture and decor stand out.

Subtle designs- slight contrasts, faded, randomly arranged finer details add a harmonious sense of rhythm and texture.

Natural Beauty- tiles that reproduce the beauty of nature- wood look tiles

Different Designs- floral, abstract, and geometrical patterns

Mix and Match- mix traditional motifs with different textures, colors, formats, etc

We feature many of these designs and ideas in our showroom. Many of these trends will become long lasting styles that you will see for years to come.

Schluter Launches a New Website!

Schluter-Systems is a company that makes installing shower systems a breeze. They have launched a completely new website with many interactive tools such as videos, product lists, educational tools, and inspirational photos. The site has features that will satisfy anyone working on a project with tile–installers, builders, architects, designers, and homeowners. Check out their new website today!

Committed to Innovation, Cambria continues the trend of developing new looks in quartz surfaces!

Cambria has recently added two more designs to what was already the industry’s largest and most diverse palette of more than 100 unique designs. The first of these new designs, Berkeley – from the Waterstone Collection – Features hints of copper and a smattering of bronze against a backdrop of sandy hues. Rosslyn, the other latest addition, joins the Jewel Collection, and is marked by striking metallic golds shimmering against a background of taupe and chocolate. Peter Martin, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Partner Services at Cambria, explains “These looks, once thought impossible in quartz, are changing today’s stone industry and area  big part of making Cambria the number one quartz provider in North America Today.”