TILE GUIDE

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain Tile is in high demand in the market place. Porcelain tile provides a high resistance to wear, chipping and freezing. It is perfect for high traffic areas or exterior applications. Porcelain tile can be used in most applications.

Three Types of Porcelain

  •  Conventional through body = This has the same composition throughout the entire body. This is manufactured as one monolithic product with no surface glazes or finishes.
  •  Glazed through body = Color pigments are added to the porcelain mixture prior to glazing, so that the body of the tile is a visible part of the glazed surface
  •  Glaze over porcelain body = Porcelain body with a glazed finish that may contrast with the color of the body.

Setting / Bonding Material

  •  A modified thinset is recommended for setting.
  •  Versabond, Versabond Flex, ProLite, MegaLite = depending on size and area of use will determine which mortar is best

Grout Selection & Installation

  •  Sanded or Nonsanded is sufficient, depending on size of grout
  •  Any choice of color can be used with porcelain

Cutting

  •  Blade – a porcelain blade such as the “hotdog blade” is recommended. This will minimize chipping. Due to the hardness of porcelain a regular diamond blade will create more chipping.
  •  Stoning – Stone each cut with a dressing stone.

Maintenance

  •  Porcelain tile is very dense, easy to maintain. A mild cleanser or Aqua Mix Conentrated tile cleaner is great for ongoing maintenance.
  •  Build Up = if a build up of dirt/grime has built up, Aqua Mix Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner will clean it up like new

TO SEAL OR NOT TO SEAL?

This is a question by many. It is always recommended to seal an unprotected product. Exactly what does the sealer do? Most sealers are a penetrating type sealer (they do not coat the top). A penetrating sealer is designed to protect below the surface of the product. What this means is; the surface (top of grout/stone) will still get dirty, it protects stains from setting deep into the product. Your surface becomes easier to clean. Sealers can give a different appearance; give it a shiny wet look, enhance the color (make it darker with out the shine) or keep it natural.

Grout – (Sanded or Non-Sanded)

Natural Look: Sealer’s Choice Gold Pint, approx coverage = 450 SF (12×12)
Darkent: Enrich-n-Seal Pint, approx coverage = 450 SF (12×12)

Tumbled/Honed Stone – (Marble, Slate or Travertine) 

Natural Look: Sealer’s Choice Gold Pint, approx coverage = 80 SF
Darken: Enrich-n-Seal Pint, approx coverage = 75 SF
Shiney/Wet: Desert Lacquer Sealer Gallon, approx coverage = 500 SF

Polished Stone – (Marble, Granite or Travertine)

Natural Look: Sealer’s Choice Gold Pint, approx coverage = 190 SF
Darken: Enrich-n-Seal Pint, approx coverage = 180 SF

For addition Sealing or Cleaning recommendations please see the Aqua Mix Stone, Tile, and Grout Care Brochure.

GLASS TILE

Glass tile is one of the newest trends. We show a lot of it. We are using a lot of it. Do we know enough about it? If we have a customer come in and ask us technical questions – can we answer them? Most of them? Some of them?

Basic Types of Glass 

  • > Clear Glass – this type is clear, transparent, or see through
  • > Clear w/Painted Back Glass – this is clear glass with a painted back
  • > Solid Color Glass – this is the same color through
  • > Fused Glass – layers of glass fused together

Areas of Use

  • > Walls – all glass is recommended for interior walls
  • > Floors – some glass is recommended for floors. Frosted or Textured glass is usually recommended for floors due to it’s slip-resistant surface, see manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • > Interior / Exterior – Most glass can be used on exterior wall applications (see manufacturer’s recommendation).

Setting / Bonding Material

  • > Mega Lite Mortar – white is recommended
  • > Thinset w/additive – white is recommended due to light transfusion
  • > Using it w/Clear Glass – white only and after the thinset is combed on, you then smooth it before adhering the glass.

Grout Selection & Installation

  • > Color – white is recommended for best light transfusion, a grouted sample is recommended before installation if using a different color.
  • > Heighth – a full grout joint will allow less light transfusion than a joint that is less full.

Cutting Glass

  • > Blade – a glass cutting blade is recommended. This will minimize chipping. A regular diamond blade is not recommended and a “New” porcelain (hotdog,) blade is better. A painted back glass tile will badly chip with a regular blade.
  • > Stoning – most glass tile can be smoothed with a tile dressing stone. See manufacturer’s recommendations.

Maintenance

  • > Glass tile can be easily maintained. Any standard non-abrasive cleaner for tile or glass can be used. Treat your glass tile like a mirror or window and it should stay beautiful all the time.
  • > Some glass tiles will hold up to a standard kitchen scotch brite pad, again – see manufacturer’s recommendations.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF STONE

GRANITE | MARBLE | GRAVERTINE | LIMESTONE | SLATE | ONYX

We recommend all stone to have a waterproof membrane before setting such as Red Guard. This will prevent any moisture deterioration.

Uses and Mortar Types are the recommendations of American Ceramic Tile.

Granite – Known for it’s hardness in durability and beauty all-in-one Polished, Honed, Leather and Flamed

Granite is a rock that is formed by the slow cooling and crystallization of magma beneath the Earth’s crust. The rock has a visibly crystalline texture, creating a unique, beautiful look, which is also incredibly durable. This is one of the most commonly used stones in the world. Granite is permanent in color and texture making it suitable for a variety of projects.

Uses: Counter Tops, Walls, Floors, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar, Mega-Lite

Locations: North & South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia

Marble – For centuries marble has been used as a timeless stone to reflect wealth. Polished, Honed, Tumbled, Washed (antique/antiquated/brushed)

Marble is the result of metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate stones, such as limestone or dolostone, which are composed mostly of calcite. The beautiful swirls and veining present in marbles are the result of impurities — such as silt, clay, oxides, sand, iron or chert — that were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. The intense heat of metamorphism recrystallizes these impurities.

Marble gained popularity thousands of years ago because of it’s high-polished finish. It’s beautiful polish is still evident today. It is known as a “perfectly polished stone”.

Uses: Vanity Tops, Low-Traffic floors, Fireplaces, Walls, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar, Mega-Lite, 100% Solids Epoxy for sensitive colors such as green or black and 100% Solids Epoxy for resin/mesh-backed marble

Locations: Europe, Africa, Australia, North and South America and Asia

Travertine – It’s Timeless!

Polished, Tumbled, Natural (honed)

Travertine is a sedimentary rock that began as limestone, which over time was heated by the Earth’s core, releasing pressurized water and steam to form hot springs. The rising hot water would dissolve the limestone and bring with it granules of stone from below the surface that collected into mud baths. When this bath of mud cooled, it would crystallize into solid stone, now called travertine.

Uses: Vanity Tops, Fireplaces, Low-Traffic Floors, Walls, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar or Mega-Lite

Locations: North and South America, Europe and Asia

Limestone – Dependable and Adaptable

Natural (honed), Polished

Limestone generally is a stone that does not take a polish. This stone is formed as a result of millions of years of deposits of seashells and fossilized sea creatures. Limestone displays a uniform composition, texture and structure.

Uses: Vanity Tops, Fireplaces, Low-Traffic Floors, Walls, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar or Mega-Lite

Locations: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia

Definitions – Geology

Metamorphic Rock: rock that is altered by pressure and heat

Chlorite: a group of minerals (aluminum, iron, magnesium) occurring in green plate-like crystals

Mica: groups of minerals that separate readily into thin, tough, often transparent layers

Sediments: fragments of material that come from weathering (wind, water, ice) of rock that settles to the bottom of a liquid

Slate – Often preferred over a man-made product due to it’s unique qualities and appearance.

Natural, Tumbled and Polished ~ Guaged and Unguaged

Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock. It’s main constituents are quartz, chlorite, mica and calcite. Slate is formed when ocean or riverbed sediments are compressed and heated by the earth’s crust.

The thickness of slate can vary quite a bit on the top surface. The clefting can vary 3/8″ to 7/16″. There will be some variations beyond this range. Slate is usually installed with a medium bed mortar to help the variation on adjoining tile edges to be minimized. A 3/8″ or larger trowel should be used.

Uses:

Floors, Counter Tops, Walls, Fireplaces, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar or Mega-Lite

Locations: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia

Onyx – It’s Gorgeous! It’s dazzling! It’s Exotic!

Polished and Tumbled

No words can exactly explain onyx; light green, medium green, darker green, red, white and honey in color. Onyx is similar to travertine in the way it is formed. Much like marble for installing and areas of use. Onyx is a spongy brittle stone and is best suited for areas without hard wear.

Uses: Vanity Tops, Low-Traffic floors, Fireplaces, Walls, Interior and Exterior

Mortar: Marble & Granite Mortar, Mega-Lite, 100% Solids Epoxy for sensitive colors such as green or black and 100% Solids Epoxy for resin/mesh-backed marble

Locations: Europe, Africa, Australia, North and South America and Asia

METAL TILES

BASIC TYPES OF METAL

  • > Resin = mixed blend of metal and plastics
  • > Full Body = solid metal; brass, pewter
  • > Spray Coated = (Landmark) plastic resin w/95% metal coating
  • > Porcelain with Metal Glaze = porcelain body tile with a metal/metallic glaze
  • > Ceramic = ceramic body tile with a metal-look glaze
  • > Stainless & Copper Overlay = actual stainless steel sheet metal overlayed on porcelain tile
  • > Buttons or Pegged Liners = solid metal w/pegs to be inserted in grout

Areas of Use

  • > Walls = all metal tiles are recommended for wall application. Some of them are interior only and not recommended for exterior use (see individual manufacturer’s recommendations)
  • > Floors = most are not recommended for floor applications.
  • > Kitchen = careful with resin metals – they have been known to catch fire at the stove
  • > Water Areas = metal will show water spots, it is recommended to dry it when it gets wet

Setting / Bonding Material

  • > Versabond = a modified thinset on most (not recommended for a full body metal)
  • > Silicone = when mounting an On-Lay landmark product
  • > Versabond Flex = when mounting a porcelain glazed or porcelain stainless/copper on-lay
  • > Epoxy = Ultra Set or 2-part when setting full body metal & pegged liners or buttons.
  • > Always refer to individual manufacturer’s recommendations

Grout Selection & Installation

  • >Any color can be used
  • >Sanded or Non Sanded grout can be used with a foam rubber float
  • >Do not use scouring pads or a hard rubber float
  • >Cover relief metal with painter’s tape to avoid excess grout build up
  • >Clean up grout residue as soon as possible this will be difficult to remove later

Cutting Metal

  • > Always use eye protection when cutting metal tiles
  • > A wet saw using a porcelain blade is recommended
  • > All metal is recommended to be cut from the top side up

Maintenance

  • > Do not use abrasive or powder cleaners, steel wool or scouring pads
  • > A mild cleaner is recommended; household or concentrated tile cleaner by Aqua Mix
  • > Never use cleaners containing acid or bleach
  • > Landmark Unpolished products can be maintained with Gojo cleaner and wiped with a dry cloth in between applications.
  • > Landmark Polished products can be maintained with the cape cod polishing cloth