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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you match this tile?

That all depends…Question one for you is: Did you buy it from us originally? If so, it is possible that we still have access to that product. However, tile varies from lot to lot and depending on the amount of time that has passed since your initial installation, the shading may be so different that it isn’t going to blend well with what is currently in place.

If you did not buy it from us, Question 2 is: Do you have the original box or product name? That will make it much easier for our designers to locate the product either through our own suppliers, or by finding you a local distributor who carries the line. However, again, tile varies and this may not be the solution for your situation.

What we would typically ask you at this point is: Why are you trying to locate more of this product? Are you trying to make a repair? Are you expanding a room or adding to a section that hadn’t been tiled previously? In most situations we are going to recommend that instead of attempting to match the product exactly, that you allow us to help you create a compliment to your existing tile application. Matching tile can be a frustrating and time consuming effort that more often than not, isn’t going to give you the final result for which you were hoping. By choosing instead to use a product that compliments the original, the end result will look more purposeful and not like an afterthought, which is what can happen if the tile lots are too far off.

How frequently does stone need to be sealed?
Most natural stone applications should be sealed annually for the best results. Most sealers these days continue working well into the third, fourth, or fifth year, but for high traffic or wet areas, setting an annual schedule will keep your installation looking newer longer.
Why does stone need to be sealed?

Stone is a naturally porous material. In areas that come in contact with regular contaminants, dirt, food, beverages, water, soaps, chemical cleaners, stone if not sealed can literally soak up these material and cause staining in the stone which can be extremely difficult to remove once set.

That being said, sealers are an extremely easy and effective way to use the natural stone products you love in the areas you want without worry.

Can I seal my tile or stone application myself or do I need a contractor?
In most residential applications, homeowners frequently reseal their own tile and stone applications. It is not a difficult process and essentially amounts to mopping your floor, or wiping down your walls or backsplash with the product. There is very little downtime and with the majority of our sealer products, no harsh odors or dangerous chemicals, although for general safety we do recommend gloves and a well-ventilated area.
Can I use natural stone in a shower?

Yes! Most definitely! There are things to consider when using stone in your shower, or any wet area. Drainage is important as is ventilation; areas that hold water, or are humid or damp for long periods of time do not react well with stone products.

We also do not recommend the use of a natural white carrara stone on the shower floor. This product has a history of disappointing outcomes for mosaics on the shower floor. If not installed 120,000% perfectly, staining around the drain is a common occurrence. We highly recommend that the use of a porcelain look-a-like be used in these situations to complement a natural stone wall tile.

How can I keep mildew from growing in my shower?

The most frequent issue with mold and mildew in showers is inadequate drainage. A shower floor is supposed to slope at a very specific angle to allow appropriate drainage so there is no pooling. A secondary issue is not maintaining a sealer on natural stone products which allows moisture to be absorbed into the stone and from there, start growing things. Using a cleaner formulated specifically for stone, and then resealing should make a significant improvement on any mildew issues. For drainage, depending on the severity of your problem, contacting a contractor for recommendations would be advisable.

One of the best ways to combat mold and mildew on your shower walls is to keep a squeegee on hand and after the last shower of the morning, quickly wipe down the walls so there is no excess water lingering. It is not actually the tile, or grout that causes the buildup, but minerals or chemicals left behind by soaps or are in the water. Left on the wall, those substances create a foundation for the mold or mildew.

What should I look for when hiring a tile contractor?
As with any contractor doing work in your home, you should ask for a business license, proof of insurance and the most important, references from recent completed jobs. Get at least two or three names and numbers and make the calls. It is important to get recent referrals because things change over time and a job done 5 or 10 years ago, may not reflect on the installers current practices. It is also important that they be finished jobs, not in process ones so you can get a sense of how they left the house, how the finishes touches were dealt with (baseboards, appliances, toilets, etc). TCNA (Tile Council of North Amercia) has certification classes that can also provide a sense of confidence in your choice of installer. There are websites that will allow you to search for a Certified Installer in your area. Please do not allow this to take the place of getting client referrals.