- How long has Interface Tile been in business?
- Interface Tile has been family owned and operated for over 25 years, with over 10,000 satisfied customers.
- Do you accept credit cards?
- We do not accept debit or credit cards. Over the years we have found that the vast majority of our customers do not wish to pay by credit card.
- Do you provide financing options?
- If a contractor discusses financing options and flexible payment arrangements with Peter before the project begins, we may be able to accommodate the situation.
- What are your hours of operation?
- Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 10am – 3pm. Tuesday and Thursdays, we are open 9am – 3pm. We are closed Saturday and Sunday. There is an answering service so please feel free to call the office and leave a message and someone will get back to you the following working business day.
- Do you provide free estimates?
- Yes! Interface tile is happy to set up an appointment to come to your home or business and provide you with a free estimate.
- Is the owner present at every job?
- Once contracted with Interface Tile, an owner will walk with you every step of the way, from the time of the estimate until the completion of the job.
- If I want to speak to the owner directly, can I?
- Yes. We understand having a relationship with your contractor is important. Peter is available and can be reached directly at any time.
- I have a small house. Do you do small jobs also?
- Interface Tile believes every job is important. Whether you have cozy space or a large project, no job is too big or too small. We will be happy to accommodate you.
- Do you provide design ideas and creative options?
- Interface Tile is happy to discuss several different options that we think will work for your space. You may be questioning a color or a pattern or material… we are happy to help and advise a beautiful and appropriate solution.
- Do I need to help with clean up after you are finished?
- Interface Tile will finish the job in a timely matter and will leave the job in a broom swept manner. Interface Tile is not responsible for garbage, that is the customers responsibility.
- Do I save money if I remove the current tile on my floor before you begin installation?
- While Interface Tile does provide a service of removing the previous tiled area, it will save the customer money if they choose to remove all materials correctly before installment.
- Do I need to be home when you are working?
- Interface Tile does recommend that the homeowner be home when we are working there, unless discussed with Peter, the owner.
- What is Grout?
- Grout is mortar or paste used for filling crevices, especially the gaps between wall or floor tiles.
- What is grout cracking and what causes it?
- Grout cracking is caused by a flexible substrate such as plywood, etc. It’s usually caused by poor installation or the tile not being bonded, resulting in loose tile.
- Can dirty grout be re-grouted?
- Yes. Dirty grout can be professional cleaned or removed and completely re-grouted depending on what the situation calls for.
- What is the difference between wall tile and floor tile?
- Ceramic tiles are not made specifically for floors or walls. Instead, they are classified according to their strength and durability. While any tile can be used as a wall tile, only certain grades of ceramic tile should be used for flooring, and the grade you choose will depend on the type and amount of use the floor receives.
- What type of grout should I use for my tile?
- There are two basic types of grout available for your tile installation. They are:
- Non-Sanded (also known as un-sanded)
Choosing the correct grout for your particular installation will not only complete the job correctly, it will also cut down on maintenance. Un-sanded grout is made specifically for grout lines smaller than 1/8 inch wide. Sanded Grout is used for any size grout lines 1/8″ and wider.
- How large should my grout line be?
- Since grout line widths are generally a personal preference I’ll let you know what mine are. I separate most tiles into three different categories:
- Small format tile – Tiles up to and including 8 X 8 inches square.
- Regular – 12 X 12 up to 16 X 16 inches square.
- Large format tile – 18 X 18 inches and larger.
- Can I fill my cracking grout with more grout?
- While it may be tempting to simply mix up some more grout and fill these voids you need to know that it will not last. If you do this it will fill the grout lines just like new but over time will lead to the same problem. Grout over grout is not a permanent solution.
- Are there any products available to remove stains from your grout and tile?
- Removing stains from grout is similar to removing stains from clothing. The same cleaners you might use on clothes to get out a stain should also work on grout.
Keep in mind though, that grout is based primarily of cement and sand. Sand, like glass, is unaffected chemically by most cleaners. Cement is not – rather it is alkaline based and is dissolved by acids. As baking soda and vinegar react, so do grout and vinegar. Accordingly, it is better to clean grout with an alkaline cleaner (Spic and Span, Mr. Clean, etc.) than an acid based cleaner.
- Can I install tile without grout lines?
- This is a question I get asked from time to time. The short answer is no, you should not. Although grout does not add to the stability of the tile installation (unless it is epoxy grout), you still need to grout it.
- Will sealing your tile and grout make it waterproof?
- No! It absolutely will not.
- Does my floor have to be level before I install tile?
- Before installing tile on your floor you must make sure your floor is properly prepared. A properly prepared floor does not have to be level. It must, however, be flat.
The only time the levelness (is that a word?) must be taken into consideration is when drainage is an issue, such as on a porch or in a shower. In those cases you must make sure your floor is not level – it has to be angled toward a drainage area.
- Should I use grout or caulk in the corner of my shower?
- There are several advantages to using caulk in corners and any other area where there may be a plane change or where tile meets another material such as your bathtub or sink.
- Unlike grout you are able to use caulk in a corner where tiles are butted against each other. It will stick to the face of the tile rather than needing a space between the tiles to grab.
- Caulk is flexible. If there is any movement the caulk is flexible enough to move with it and remain in place. It will not crack out or fall off.
- Caulk is waterproof – grout is not,. Water will collect in corners such as where your tile meets the tub more than it will on the face of the tile.
- If your caulk does crack out or need to be replaced it is easily done.
The only two disadvantages to using caulk instead of grout are that you need to periodically remove and replace the caulk and, depending on your choice of grout, you may not be able to find a caulk that matches exactly. The first reason I consider to simply be regular maintenance and the latter is less of a problem since most major grout manufacturers sell matching caulk.
- Can I change the color of my grout?
- You can get grout stain. It will let you make it darker. If you want to change the grout altogether then it can be easily removed, but time consuming. Simple grout removal tools are available at local home stores. Also a oscillating multifunction power tool will make quick work of it. Then re-grout the joints in whatever color you choose. Grout charts are available where grout is sold. Remember grout will look darker when being installed and will dry lighter. Be very careful of making sure everything is clean. Vacuum out old joints with a wet/dry shop vac. If you use a power tool to remove grout have someone follow behind it with a shop vac. Or you will have dust everywhere.
- How long does Tile take to dry?
- Allow thin set to dry for 24 to 48 hours.
Thin set mortar adheres tiles to floors, countertops, backslashes and walls. It shouldn’t be walked on or disturbed during the drying process, as doing so could cause a serious misalignment of the tiles you just laid, a problem that would be difficult to fix. This means you need to allow it to dry before grouting. Drying time depends on how you mixed the thin set, how much you put down before tiling, humidity and temperature.
- Why are my tiles coming loose?
- Thinset Consistency – Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing thinset. It shouldn’t be soupy or runny, but it shouldn’t be too stiff either. It needs to hold its ridges as you spread it with a serrated trowel while remaining somewhat easy to spread.
Let It Cure – There’s no harm in waiting to grout tiles. Even if you take care not to disturb the tiles while grouting before the thinset has cured, you would be sealing it off from the air it needs to cure. To maintain its adhering properties, the thinset needs to dry completely. If it doesn’t, you could have tiles falling off into the shower or floor tiles cracking.
- Can I drill a hole through ceramic tile?
- What are “rectified” tiles?
- Rectified tile is tile that has been mechanically finished on all sides to achieve uniformity and precision. During the manufacturing process, an extra step is taken to grind the tile to precise and consistent dimensions.
- What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
- Although they look the same, the main difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is that a porcelain tile is denser and less porous than a ceramic tile.
- Do ceramic and porcelain tiles vary in quality?
- Porcelain and ceramic tile are essentially the same, with one slight difference.
Both are part of the larger category of tiles we can call ceramic. It is more a case of reverse-naming, whereby manufacturers take tiles that have certain qualities and then assign the ceramic or porcelain titles to them.
Tile people often tout porcelain’s storied history, evoking its Italian etymology-porcellana, which means cowrie shell. Fine porcelain-ware is white, translucent, strong, and it has a fine, dense body. They mention how fine china is made of porcelain.
- What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tile?
- Glazed porcelain tend to be less denser and thicker than the unglazed porcelain owing to extra heat that they are exposed to in order to add a liquid glass layer in the finishing. As a consequence, glazed porcelain are non porous in nature. They are also shiny and can be made in variety of colors unlike the unglazed that are porous in nature. However, when it comes to resistance, unglazed porcelain outshines the glazed because it is thicker than the latter one.
- What is the difference between interior and exterior tiles?
- Tile used outdoors where freezing is likely must be frost resistant otherwise you’ll be sweeping up the pieces in the spring. Tile density in measured by how much water they absorb as a percentage of its weight. Porcelain ceramic tiles are the most common and are considered “impervious”. True porcelain by definition, must absorb .5% or less. Some “outdoor” tiles come with a clause telling you how many cycles it can withstand.
- What type of tile can be used for my fireplace?
- Ceramic Tile – Typically made of clay, ceramic tile comes in many forms, from the classic subway style to decorative mosaics and eclectic art styles. Another bonus of ceramic tile is easy installation, making it a popular choice for DIYers. While ceramic tile is an excellent choice for the fireplace surround, it is not as durable as other options for the front of the fireplace, which often is on the floor.
Glass Tile – Beautiful and available in a multitude of colors and styles, glass tile is an option for those with an extensive budget and who have decided on professional installation. Glass is not as popular for fireplaces because it is very difficult for a do-it-yourselfer to install in a clean, professional way. Prices for glass tile are higher than other types. Similar to ceramic tile, it is not the best choice for fireplace fronts, especially if it is on the floor. It can break and crack under heavy traffic and use.
Engineered Stone – Engineered stone is made of chunks of different stones, including marble, held together with an epoxy of resin. While it is affordable and easy to install, it does have drawbacks, including chipping and dulling of the sheen. For instance, extended exposure to sunlight causes the sealant to dull over time.
Natural Stone – Natural stone tile is more costly than engineered stone but is available in beautiful materials such as travertine, marble, limestone and granite. The durability of natural stone is one of its main pros, aside from its beauty. Another benefit that may justify the cost is the beauty of the hand-painted varieties of stone tile, which add uniqueness, although they are more expensive than unpainted types. Natural stone is the best choice for fireplace fronts because of the strength and durability of the stone.
Tile floors have very specific installation requirements for structural integrity. One of the primary reasons people choose to install tile floors is because of their durability compared to wood or carpet. When installed properly, a tile floor can last a lifetime because of the durability of stone, ceramic and concrete, which is the mortar used to embed the tile. However, installation error can lead to tiles continually coming loose and popping up off the floor. It is important to understand the reasons why so you can fix the problems and enjoy your investment.