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

Wondering how to care and maintain your tile, grout, or natural stone? Check these quick tips!

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. All natural stone products need to be sealed to keep the integrity of the product. 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.

Crossville, Inc provides many different porcelain and ceramic tiles that vary in style and color. You can find many of their looks on their website: www.crossvilleinc.com.

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

Wondering what type of grout to use?

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

Trends – 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 System’s 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!

Popular Schluter products include the Jolly, Schiene, Kerdi, Kerdi Band, Ditra membrane, Ditra Heat, and complete shower systems. Schluter shower systems provide every material needed to waterproof any shower installation, including linear drains. Easy to learn, use, and apply to your installations.

https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us/en_US/

 

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.”

The Benefits of a “Mud Set Shower” Versus a Durock Shower…..

Tile contractors vary greatly.  As they say, “Prep is the most important part of the job”.  Judging installation quality is relatively difficult for most homeowners since tile covers the prep work. Take the time to educate yourself about tile installation so that you can ask the right questions. A low price achieved through questionable shortcuts or installation methods may not be a good long-term solution.

Durock is a prefabricated cement board substrate. It comes in sheets which are nailed to the studs.  A mud set showers starts with metal lathe which is interwoven and stapled to the studs. It then receives two coats of cement by hand with the second coat being skimmed flat and plumb.  Durock showers are multiple pieces which have the possibility of shifting around causing leaks and cracked grout lines especially in new built homes which settle.

Here is the problem with prefabricated substrates which do not hold the same qualifications that the traditional mud set do. If your wall is out of plumb, or floor is out of level or has a hump in it, the Durock or any other prefabricated substrate will follow that hump or irregular contour. With mud set, this is not a problem because we have the ability to “float out” any inconsistencies while applying the cement.  If there is a flaw in the wall when using Durock, it will only be magnified by the tile being there.  This is why it is so important to make sure the substrate is exactly that, straight. With prefabricated substrates you have seams, with mud set you do not.  Prefabricated substrates are nailed to floor and wall studs directly with no water proof membrane allowing wall and floor deflection which can lead to tile cracking. Mud set is anchored everywhere and is evenly distributed for maximum bond to the floor or wall and every void is filled.  The same cannot be said for prefabricated substrates. With a well done mud set shower the substrate is literately a one piece waterproof shell. This method has stood the test of time and has been used for centuries. TileCraft’s mud set showers have a lifetime guarantee from leaking. Yes, lifetime…..

The bottom line is when it comes to traditional mud set, if this generation knew as must about it as their predecessors did, more people would demand this level of skill.  This is the only method preferred by our tile artisans.

For a worry free time tested method, mud set showers are the route to go.

Crossville products honored with Green GOOD DESIGN Award! CONGRATS!

Crossville’s Bluestone and Mixology tile collections have been named winners of 2012 Green GOOD DESIGN Awards bestowed by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The annual awards recognize 120 products from across the globe that are leading examples of sustainable design.

The European Center’s International Advisory Committee selects products based on design processes that emphasize overall environmental responsibility.

Bluestone is a popular porcelain tile collection manufactured at Crossville’s U.S. manufacturing facilities through processes certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). The line holds Green Squared certification and contains a minimum of 20% recycled content. Mixology, designed by Mikeal Jensen, residential design director for Crossville, replicates cast metal with 50% SCS-certified, post-consumer recycled content.

Jury members of The European Center’s International Advisory Committee are designed industry leaders from across the globe who review products, programs, people, government, environmental planning and architecture to determine the outstanding achievers. The European Centre and Chicago Athenaeum’s environmental conference will exhibit the 2012 Green GOOD DESIGN products throughout the U.S. for a year, beginning at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in September 2012.

For more information about Crossville’s green initiatives, visit crossvilleinc.com or stop into our showroom!

Fall Trends in Stone and Tile

From shimmering and textured mosaics to porcelain tile with wood, stone or concrete looks, the latest introductions in stone and tile offer inspiration for one-of-a-kind designs. Below are just some of the numerous products available on today’s market.

Ann Sacks – Pyrite Collection

The carefully composed tiles in the “Pyrite” Collection by Ann Sacks are a tightly hand-fitted mosaic that resembles a puzzle-like jigsaw that have undergone careful polishing and antiquing techniques exclusive to Ann Sacks. These methods reveal the reflective, luminescent qualities of the stone, and the result is a distinctive combination of a refined and raw look. Available in 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 12″ and 12″ x 12″ tiles, “Pyrite” comes in several finishes, including gold or silver antiqued, gold or silver polished, and a mix of both.

Artistic Tile – Foliage Collection

Organic and intriguing, “Foliage” by Artistic Tile is hand crafted of stained glass manufactured in the U.S. “Foliage” is a new addition to the “Jazz Glass” Collection and adds a sense of movement to any room. The mosaic tile is available in 14.75″ x 14.25″ x .125″ pieces.

Original Style – Odyssey Collection

The designs for the “Odyssey” tiles and matching borders from Original Style have been inspired by places and styles from around the globe and throughout the ages, from a humble rug found in a Moroccan bazaar to majestic palaces, from rustic Turkish pottery to the lost civilization of the Incas. “Odyssey” tiles are hand-finished so each one is a small, unique work of art and they are not mass-produced, they are made specific to order in Original Style’s Devon Studio. Take “Odyssey” into your home for your own global adventure, around the world in 20 tile designs.

LVT is H-O-T: The Next Step for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Few flooring materials have stormed the industry rapid like luxury vinyl tile. At home in commercial as well as residential settings, LVT is expanding options for designers and specifiers.

As a relatively newcomer to the floor covering scene, LVT is the fastest growing category in flooring – it’s popular across a wide variety of commercial segments, from healthcare to retail, from corporate to education and high education, and even hospitality. This interest has been driven first by styling and the opportunity for new looks, whether it’s a look inspired by natural materials, textiles or abstract concepts.

Interest has only grown as designers and facilities managers have discovered LVT’s quality, durability, superior performance, low maintenance, lower lifecycle cost, and ease of installation, including Mannington’s LockSolid glueless locking system. Residentially, LVT has enjoyed strong double-digit growth, even throughout these past few economically challenging years. Like the commercial segment, consumers are drawn to LVT for its incredibly realistic designs, ease of maintenance, superior performance characteristics and installation options.

LVT’s popularity can be attributed to the same elements that made laminate successful such as appeal to the DIY market: its modular composition and realistic visuals. Where LVT eclipses laminate is in durability and flexibility. Because LVT’s composition includes PVC, the product is much more resistant to damages in addition to being water and scratch resistant. Plus, improved embossed techniques give LVT a much more realistic look than laminate.

In commercial, the same general trends are happening in LVT as in other hard surfaces. Wider, more rustic woods with character are important as are exotic woods. Reclaimed woods in a variety of widths give the space a feeling of authenticity. Grays continue to be important in addition to the established warm yellow and red based hues. In stones, it’s about larger formats in squares as well as offset rectangular designs. Realism in stone comes from patina and irregularity. Colors are complex neutrals that work with cool metals but have a hint of inner warmth. LVT build momentum in gaining market share through a realistic mimicking of wood, stone and other natural materials. Rather than replicating natural materials, manufacturers are using new technologies to give a textile-like texture, and modular shapes – circles, diamonds and squares – that provide truly customizable installations and patterns.

Today’s LVT products are being inspired by the beauty of raindrops on glass, of linens, and much more. Also very popular are the variety to treatments that include beveled, grouted, spare, tumbled and sculpted.

Mannington has launched Intaglio, the first sculpted LVT. They’ve also recently launched travertine, and slate decors that resemble the original looks of stone, and their hottest look of the year is High Definition Carpet Tile. Customers thought that they were getting into the carpet tile business at first, until they felt it. You cannot tell the tiles are vinyl! The high definition decor show the fibers of the yarn, twists of the fiber and surface texture that mimic a tufted carpet tile.

Here are a few key reasons to consider LVT for your next project:

  • Ease of installation.
  • A wide variety of aesthetics, without any compromise of performance
  • Green properties (LEED Credits)
  • Durability
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Design flexibility through modular sizes and shapes