Do tile contractors charge more if the tile pattern is different?
Yes, if the pattern deviates significantly, such as square border with diagonal field, random inset liner, or borders. Typically, there is more time associated with the complexity of the design and the cutting of the materials.
Can I change the color of my stone?
Yes, there are various impregnator sealers in which we can achieve the desired color you’re looking for. We can experiment, as well, with some uninstalled pieces prior to the installation.
How do you prevent efflorescence in a tile or stone installation?
By using a latex liquid in a dry thin-set mortar, rather than adding water to a modified thin-set mortar, you reduce the mineral content in the thin-set. The best solution is to put an anti-fracture membrane over the mortar bed and then bond the tile to it.
Can tile be installed in a single day?
Yes, there is a way to install tile that is safe to walk on within one day. There are rapid setting thin-set mortar adhesives that allow you to grout within 2 to 4 hours, if cured at 70 degrees F, and are able to walk on within 4 hours. Though, I would protect the floor initially with a rosin paper for a couple days to avoid potential grout staining.
Can you install tile on vinyl?
There are pros and cons to installing ceramic on vinyl. This method is not uncommon, but it is always best to adhere ceramic tile directly to the concrete subfloor. The bond of the ceramic tile is only as good as the bond of the vinyl to the subfloor. If the vinyl comes loose, so does everything else attached to it, although if the vinyl is bonded well, it should last. The vinyl can act as an anti-fracture membrane, meaning if cracks develop in the concrete subfloor, they won’t continue up through the tile. The vinyl also can act as a vapor barrier, meaning if there is moisture in the slab it can’t travel through the tile, potentially causing an efflorescent problem.
With warming tile, which type of tile is warmer: porcelain or ceramic?
Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile. They are both clay-based material, and generally porcelain is denser than ceramic tile, but not always. There is no significant difference in using one dense tile versus the other for floor warming. Actually, today there are floor-warming systems that can be incorporated into the tile installation. There are electrical floor warming systems that are thin, as well as radiant heating systems that require a thicker application for embedding the water pipes for the hot water to run through.
If I’m on concrete slab, should I use a mortar bed or backer board under the tile?
The best installation method is to install a mortar bed to the correct height so that your tile finish is at the correct elevation. Then, thin-set the tile directly to the mortar bed, unless you want a waterproof crack isolation membrane, which then needs to be installed first. It’s necessary for the installer to have a complete understanding of, and ample experience in, properly installing mortar beds.
Can you install tile over cracks?
You cannot install tile or stone over cracked concrete without making repairs or providing additional protection or the cracks will continue through the tile. If the cracks are structural (they move vertically), then the concrete slab is defective and needs to be properly repaired, as determined by a structural engineer. If the cracks are shrinkage cracks (horizontal movement only), then, with some limitations, you can isolate those cracks appropriately with a crack isolation membrane, or apply to the whole floor for full projection. You cannot use a roofing paper for crack isolation as it does not meet the ANSI standards, and under certain conditions it is known to fail.