Posts Tagged ‘tile tips’

  • Do I Need To Use Sealer On Ceramic Tile?

    Date: 2012.09.04 | Category: Bathrooms, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    Sealing your tile is determined by the type of tile that you used -glazed or unglazed. If you’re unclear on the difference between the two, we wrote a previous blog post on glazed vs. unglazed tile.

    So what’s the difference when it comes to sealer?

    Sealer is unnecessary and should never be used on glazed tile. Sealer is often used on unglazed natural clay tile, pavers or unglazed porcelain tile. Some manufacturers of these products recommend a particular sealer. However, in most cases a good penetrating sealer is advisable. It is usually invisible or provides a soft luster. Heavy sealers such as urethane are not recommended because of potential scaling or uneven wearing.

  • An Important Tile Resource

    Date: 2012.03.15 | Category: Custom Tile, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    Tile Council of America provides valuable information on the proper installation of ceramic tile in virtually any condition. They research all the installation methods and conditions and annually publish industry standards for the installation of tile.

    Any reputable Ceramic Tile Contractor will be very familiar with their publication. At Garretson Tile Company it’s our “bible”.

    Visit for endless amounts of resources and tips.

    The Garretson Tile Showroom

    One particular example is this great article called “Ceramic Tile for Geniuses and Dummies”  presented by Robert E. Daniels, Executive Director Emeritus of TCNA. This article discusses the intricacies of the tile business and how important it is to work with a reputable Tile Contractor. There are so many variables when it comes to tile. The article also details the basics in ceramic tile. Here is an excerpt:

    Ceramic tile itself can be a complex subject. Let’s slice down the layers of complexity and make it simple. There are two major types of tile, quarry tile: that is tile that is made by extrusion from natural clay or shale and tile that is made by the pressed dust method. This category includes wall tile, mosaic tiles, and floor tile. Either type of tile can be glazed or fired as unglazed. Glaze is a ceramic surfacing material that is used to provide a certain appearance. Let me restate this point: any ceramic tile type may be glazed or unglazed. This includes porcelain tiles. Read more here.

    Bottom line is: Do your research and be sure to speak with a tile expert. A general flooring expert and tile expert are two very different things.

  • Shopping for Ceramic Tile – Knowing the Guidelines

    Date: 2011.08.30 | Category: Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    When it comes to choosing ceramic tile, there are many things you should look for regarding performance and quality levels. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) together with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) establish guidelines for tile manufacturing in the United States. These standards will help you choose the right tile based on your different projects.

    ANSI 137.1 (1988) presents standard specifications for ceramic tile. It lists and defines various types, sizes, physical properties, and grading procedures for ceramic tile, including mosaic tile, quarry tile, pressed floor tile, glazed wall tile, porcelain tile, trim units, and specialty tile.

    This standard also provides quality criteria for considerations such as these:

    Visual Inspection: Establishes whether a tile is classified as standard or second grade. Standard tiles pass the minimum inspection when viewed at 3′, second grade passes at 10′.

    Coefficient of Friction tell us how much effort it takes to move an object across the face of the tile dry or wet. This plays a huge role when choosing floor tiles and minimizing slipping injuries.

    Water Absorption: Does the tile absorb more than 7% water (non-vitreous) 3%-7% water (semi-vitreous) .5%-3% water (vitreous) or less than .5% water (impervious)? This is important when selecting tile that will belong in a wet environment.

    Breaking Strength: the tile’s minimum acceptable breaking strength

    Abrasive Hardness: The higher the number, the harder the tiles surface.

    Chemical Resistance of the tile.

    Impact Resistance: Using an 1/16″ diameter striker, the tiles resistance to chipping is tested.

    This is just a sample of the guidelines that are established under this standard. Read more here. 

    Be sure your ceramic tile is manufactured in accordance with the standards outlined in ANSI 137.1 1988.



  • Caring for the Surfaces in Your Home

    Date: 2011.07.20 | Category: Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    Real Simple posted a fantastic resource as a guide for knowing how to clean and care for the different surfaces in your home. The surfaces range from butcher blocks, to granite, limestone, ceramic tile, slate, marble and more.

    We wanted to share some of the helpful tips with you on our blog! To read the full article click here. 


    From the Garretson Tile Gallery

    Ceramic Tile:
    Use: For glazed tiles, one capful of isopropyl alcohol in one gallon of water. For unglazed tile, like terra-cotta, a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
    Tools: A cloth or mop.
    Tips: Rinse with water and a clean cloth. Avoid oil soaps or ammonia, which will yellow grout. Avoid vinegar, which will damage grout.
    Tough stains: Use a scraper or putty knife to remove stubborn debris. Use a nylon scrubbing pad dampened with dishwashing liquid to remove stains from grout. Apply grout sealer twice a year to prevent stains.

    Use: A few drops of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
    Tools: A cloth, sponge, or mop.
    Tips: Sweep or vacuum stone floors regularly; stone surfaces are susceptible to damage from grit. Rinse with a clean, soft cloth. Apply a penetrating sealer, available at stone dealers and home centers, every two to three years to prevent deep stains. Avoid abrasive cleansers, which can scratch, and ammonia and nonchlorine bleach, which can dull the surface.

    Use: A few drops of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
    Tools: A cloth, sponge, or mop.
    Tips: Sweep or vacuum floors regularly. Wipe up spills with a clean, soft cloth. Apply a penetrating sealer, available at stone dealers and home centers, every year to prevent deep stains. As with limestone, don’t use abrasive cleansers, vinegar, and lemon-based cleansers.
    Tough stains: Use a ready-made poultice, available at stone dealers.

    Use: Plain water.
    Tools: A microfiber cloth.
    Tips: For extremely dirty windows, make a solution of one part vinegar to one part warm water and use a squeegee. To reduce streaking don’t clean windows in the heat of the day.
    Tough stains: Rub tough streaks with crumpled newspaper and the vinegar solution.

  • Tile Next to Hardwood?

    Date: 2011.05.31 | Category: Custom Tile, Tips and Advice | Response: 1

    We get asked questions about placing tile next to a hardwood floor and if it can it work. Sure! The key is to make the transition seamless. If the heights are the same you will just leave a small expansion joint and fill with color matched grout caulk. Be sure edges are clean when using this method.

    Hard Surface Reducer Molding (image courtesy of

    If the two are not at the same level, the best option is a hard surface reducer (metal, wood, stone etc.) This floor trim will nicely transition down to adjoining floors. Either way, do not let using two different materials deter you from creating something very visually appealing in your home.

  • How to Replace a Broken Tile

    Date: 2011.05.19 | Category: Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    Maybe there is that one tile in an otherwise perfect floor that draws your eye. We are talking about a chipped or broken tile that needs repairing! With these steps you can have you tile floor looking like new again.

    1. Remove the Surrounding Grout
    2. Loosen the Tile
    3. Chisel Out the Pieces
    4. Set the New Tile
    5. Fill the Joint with Grout
    6. Allow the Grout to Dry

    If you need help with your chipped or broken tile, please don’t hesitate to email or give us a call. We are here to help.

  • Advantages of Ceramic Tile

    Date: 2011.05.18 | Category: Custom Tile, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    There are many reasons to choose ceramic tile for your floor or wall. If you are considering using a ceramic tile, here are just a few of those reasons…

    • Durability
    • Fire Resistance
    • Moisture Resistance
    • Resistance to Abrasion/Tread Wear
    • Slip Resistance
    • Thermal Shock Resistance
    • Stain Resistance/Easy Maintenance
    • Chemical Resistance
    • Color Permanence
    • Hygiene

  • New Uses for Lemons- Clean Your Tile!

    Date: 2011.02.22 | Category: Bathrooms, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    This morning on the CBS Early Show, Sarah Humphreys the executive editor of Real Simple Magazine, talked about new uses for lemons! The clip is definitely worth watching and I couldn’t resist sharing one of their tips with you on our blog. Lemons have so many uses beyond food and one of those uses is as a natural tile cleaner! It is a  non-toxic and child- friendly way to clean the mildew from your grout.

    Still from the CBS Early Show Clip

    Watch the clip!

  • Tile Adds Personality to a Room

    Date: 2011.02.21 | Category: Ideas and Inspiration, Tips and Advice | Response: 2

    Adding tile to your home allows you to make any space your very own. The beauty of using tile in design is that there are virtually limitless options to truly get your desired, unique look. Whether it’s textures, patterns, glazes or styles, the options are endless and even the smallest details can make a big difference.

    Here are some tile designs to use as inspiration on this cold Monday!

    Image Courtesy of Interior Designs and Wallpapers

    These classic British brick style tiles give this bathroom an elegant yet relaxed feel.

    Image Courtesy of ArchiExpo

    The tile in this kitchen, paired with the decor, gives a more urban and modern look.

    Image Courtesy of Designs and Decors

    The tile flooring in the this kitchen and living room gives this living space a Italian & rustic inspired look.

    When choosing your custom tile, remember to pay attention to detail and how it will have an effect on the ambiance of your room.  If you have any questions, we are here to help!

  • Linear Tile

    Date: 2010.12.17 | Category: Bathrooms, Custom Tile, Ideas and Inspiration, Kitchens, Tips and Advice | Response: 0

    A big trend in tile right now is the use of linear tile. Linear tile gives a really nice effect especially when used for kitchen backsplashes and bathrooms, but the effect can be used virtually anywhere. The different varieties and finishes that are available allows you to create a unique, contemporary look for your home. In addition to their contemporary look, these tiles can be effectively used to visually elongate a space vertically or horizontally depending on what you would like to achieve.

    Vertical tile in the bathroom in a stunning white. (image courtesy of

    image courtesy of

    Really unique and beautiful pattern (image courtesy of

    Theses tiles from Daltile have detailed linear graining and high shade variation. This works nicely on the floor and on walls. (image courtesy of

    image courtesy of