What is Tile Edge Protection?
Tile Edge Protection is products that cover unfinished edges of tile that may become damaged or cause a tripping hazard. Some examples of edge protection would be bullnose tile, “L”channels or jollys, liner bars, chair rails, etc. Edge profiles do the following:
- Protect tile edges from chipping.
- Provide easy transitions between adjacent floor and wall surfaces.
- Deliver a design element that is often ignored.
Is Tile Edge Protection Important?
If you want your tile design to look flawless for many years, then you will want to protect the edges of your tile. Once chipped or cracked, tile flaws tend to stand out. Having tile edge protection will protect the tiles from damage and create a finished, clean look.
A knowledgeable installer, salesperson, or designer should discuss tile edge protection before installation begins. Many tile collections do not have matching trim or edge pieces, so you will want to find an alternative before installation.
Where Do I Need Tile Edge Protection?
Common areas that will need tile edge protection are:
- Floor transitions from tile to carpet or tile to hardwood.
- Shower jambs or shower walls where the tile ends.
- Edges around a recess or niche.
- Unfinished edges of a backsplash.
- Wherever you will see an unfinished tile edge (walls, trim, decoration, etc).
Excerpts taken from TileLetter December 2017
Glass Tile Selection and Installation Guide – TCNA 2016 Handbook
The recommended substrates for glass tile installations are similar to ceramic tile installations, however, extra attention should be given to substrate stability, rigidity, and preparation. Substrates should be sufficiently flat to allow uniform coverage and avoid excessive mortar thickness. Glass tile is generally more vulnerable to crack propagation than ceramic tile. The glass manufacturer may recommend use of a crack isolation membrane for large format glass tiles.
Mortars specifically formulated for glass tile must be used. When installed over an impervious substrate, setting materials may take longer to cure. Some manufacturers may require use of a specific mortar.
Grout recommendations for glass tile vary based on aesthetics and joint size. Most manufacturers recommend unsanded grout to prevent scratching. Because glass tile is impervious, additional setting time may be necessary to allow the grout to firm prior to cleaning.
Make sure to check your TCNA Handbook or ANSI standards when installing glass tile.
Cement tiles have become quite popular in the tile industry and customers are asking about the upkeep of cement tiles. Here is some important information from Sabine Hill — one of our main cement tile manufacturers:
Cement tile surfaces should be cleaned, free of grease, oil, dirt, wax or any other foreign matter including grout release material. Next, apply a high quality penetrating sealer for cement and concrete tiles and carefully follow the sealer manufacturer’s instructions. Sealing the cement tiles will insure the color and design will remain unstained and vibrant.
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. Regularly mop cement tiles with clean water. To improve the tiles natural sheen, a cap-full of liquid wax can be added to the water. Never use acids to clean the tiles because they will damage it.
Cement tiles are manufactured using natural materials, so it possible that there could be color differences between the original order and tiles ordered at a later date. Carefully calculate how many pieces you will need and then order a few extra pieces.
Keep these guidelines in mind when planning to use cement tile in your home.
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!
2017 Tile Trends
Natural materials are the main inspiration for tile patterns and designs for 2017. Tile trends including 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.
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!
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!
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.