{ Frequently Asked Questions }

  General Tile Questions

How do you clean ceramic tile?
Usually just a damp sponge will be enough. Where soiling is more severe, use a window cleaner such as Windex or a mild solution of hot water and all purpose liquid cleaner such as Mr. Clean is also excellent. Do not use soap as it leaves a film.
How much variation can be expected from dyelot to dyelot on tile?
Tiles are made from natural products and the variation can be substantial depending
on the tile selected. Tiles can vary slightly in shade, texture, and size.
What tiles are considered frost resistant?
Tiles that absorb 3% or less moisture. All porcelain tiles are 3% or less.

How can you determine if a tile is suited for outdoor use in a cold climate?
If your labels or literature says it is frost resistant, or a porcelain, it is suited for outdoor
Is a product with a (4) four wear rating a better quality or more expensive
than one with a (2) two wear rating?

Not necessarily; the wear rating has nothing to do with quality or price, only durability.
Some of the most expensive tiles are the hand painted wall tiles and they only have a
wear rating of (1) one.
Does the gloss level affect slip resistance?
Yes; High gloss products are usually more slippery than low gloss ones.
Are high gloss products suited for heavy traffic areas?
Generally not, but always check the products wear rating because there are exceptions.
In most cases the higher the gloss, the softer the glaze.

What is the most important step in maintaining a glazed tile?
To keep the floor free of sand or any other gritty material that may act as an abrasive
and wear down the surface.
Can floor tiles be used on walls and counter tops?
Yes; Providing the structure is strong enough to support the weight.
Can water and vinegar be used to clean ceramics?
Vinegar is an acid and acid should never be used on tile by anyone other than a
professional. If it’s not diluted properly it could bleach out the color in the grout.
What is a slip resistant tile?
One with a gritty surface or a built in texture designed to grip the foot and prevent
Are slip resistant products more difficult to clean?
Generally, yes, the coarser the grit is, the more difficult it will be to clean.
Will the size vary in ceramics?
Yes; Handmade Mexican tiles may vary greatly, but this is acceptable. Ceramic and
Porcelain tiles may also vary slightly in size but the installer will conceal this by using a
little wider grout joint.
Will ceramic tile colors fade when exposed to sunlight?
No, They are totally unaffected by light.
Are ceramic tiles fire resistant?
Yes; They are totally fire proof at any temperature.
Are ceramic tiles hygienic?
Yes; A glazed tile does not retain liquids, fumes, odors or germs.
Are all 12” X 12” tiles the same size?
No; Each manufacture sizes their tile according to their equipment capability. A 12” X 12” tile may be as small as 11 ½” X 11 ½” or as large as 12 ½” X 12 ½”. This goes for all sizes of tile.
Can you mix and match tiles from two or more manufactures when designing
a pattern?

Generally not, the sizes and thickness will vary from one manufactures tiles to another
and the grout joints will not line up.

Information provided by Floors2000

{ How do I care for my Natural Stone? }

General Care

Care and Precautions

Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones. Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.

{ Cleaning Procedures and Recommendations }

Floor Surfaces

Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface.

Other Surfaces

Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer) or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

Bath and Other Wet Areas

In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone.

Vanity Top Surfaces

Vanity tops may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your installer for recommendations. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing automobile paste wax can be applied to minimize water spotting.

Food Preparation Areas 

In food preparation areas, the stone may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your installer for recommendations. If a sealer is applied, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. If there are questions, check with the sealer manufacturer.

Outdoor Pool & Patio Areas 

In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.

Information provided by the Marble Institute of America