Design Time & Tile :: Tile Questions
6800 Westside Road, Redding, CA 96001
(530) 241-8693

Resilient Tile Floors

What are the types of resilent tile flooring available? Are these tiles more durable than others? What would be the difference? - Hally

ANSWER: Hi Hally. Resilient flooring is available in many forms. Some of the types we carry at Design Time there are: Vinyl Composition Tile, Vinyl Luxury Tile, Dura Ceramic Tile, and Dura Plank Flooring. The most durable would be the dura ceramic product which has a lifetime warranty. Come in and see us we'll be happy to show you the whole line of Dura Ceramic Tile.

Paver vs Quarry Tiles

What is the difference between Quarry tiles and Paver tiles? Would one type be preferential for a family home environment? - Maureen

ANSWER: Hi Maureen. Paver tiles are formed by a press into a uniform shape and tend to be thicker as a rule. As a result they withstand more weight per square inch. They're usually preferred for outdoor applications. Quarry tiles are extruded from a big machine that rolls them out. This process leaves grooves on the back of the Quarry tile, making it easy to tell a Paver from Quarry tile at retail. Quarry tile is extremely durable and retains its color well, so it would be better suited for your home. As always, at Design Time and Tile we're here to help guide you through the tile selection process, so give us a call!

Changing Grout Color

I would like to change the grout color around my kitchen tiles. Do I have to remove every bit of the existing grout or can I just cut out the top layer? Does it matter in the long run? I can remove all of the old grout it will just take a lot longer. I plan on being here for a long time so I want it to last. Thanks - Gloria

ANSWER: Gloria, if your existing grout is in good shape and you are going to use a darker color, Customs makes a grout stain that works very well. Otherwise, I recommend that you remove all of your existing grout. Completely new grout will last much longer, because if you leave even some old grout, the new grout may have adhesion problems that shorten the product life.

Slate Tiles

Hi, I would like to install slate tiles over a deck on my cabin. I will be building a room below the deck so I was going to apply a torch down roofing before applying tiles. The product will be fully adhered and has a granulated surface. Do you foresee a problem with this application or could you recommend another product to apply before laying tiles. The reason I was thinking of roofing product is it will be living area under the deck. Also the deck is covered by a roof but some water will blow into the area. - Stuart

ANSWER: Hi Stuart, I would recommend that you get in touch with a general contractor in your area that is up to date with all of the local building codes. If you would like more information, you will find a great website resource here. Please research your project in detail before starting, I have seen many of these type projects fail due to lack of proper installation procedures.

Tile Installation

We are getting ready to lay tiles in our home. Should we start laying them on the far side and work our way out of the room or start in the middle? What is the difference? - Steve

ANSWER: Hi Steve. Tile layout and where you start will vary with each and every job. In a standard rectangular room, I would lay the tile out so that you would have equal size cut in pieces around the perimeter of the room. Once I have determined my layout, I would mark a starting point in either the center or corner, it makes no difference. The main thing you must do is always work away from the tile you are laying and never on top of it. Try to work yourself out of a doorway and not in to a corner. Once you've set your tile, stay off of it until the next day. If you have a diagram of your job with actual dimensions, please come in and see us at Design Time and we'll be happy to go over where to start.

Tile Installation

I'm looking to lay some tiles in my new house. How hard is it to learn how to do? Is this something I can learn from reading a self-help book, or will I need more training than that? I've helped a friend do some small tile jobs before but I've never done anything this big. Where should I start? Do you advise customers on how to do-it-yourself kind of projects? I've seen signs at Home Depot for classes for different projects. Does your shop do anything like that? - John

ANSWER: Hi John. Hands-on training is always the best. Here at Design Time we do not have classes available at this time, but would be happy to walk you through your project, explaining where to start, what type of setting materials to use, what type of underlayment, etc. Come in and see us.

Countertop Restoration

In my parent's house there is an old countertop and I'm not sure what exactly it is made of. I would love to be able to restore it for them. I think it might be something my grandfather brought over from Italy. What is a safe way to start removing the 50 plus years of grime on it? Should I have it looked at first? Merry Christmas. - Jordan

ANSWER: Hi Jordan. I would suggest that you have an expert have a look at your tile prior to recommending what type of cleaner and cleaning method to use so it isn�t damaged. Give us a call at (530) 241-8693 and we would be happy to arrange an inspection for you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.

Outdoor BBQ Tiles

I have an outdoor bar and BBQ. My top is concrete and I am looking to put granite tiles it but I am not sure what type of thinset or grout to use. I hear that silicone might work best for the grout lines. Also, I want to butt the tiles up with each other - is that a problem? As you may know the temp can get real cold in the winter - below the freezing mark at times. - Jordan

ANSWER: Granite tiles will make an awesome BBQ counter top. You need to use a special thinset for marble and granite. I would recommend that you use epoxy grout. Butting the tiles together is a fine way to install the granite tiles. The freezing temperature will not affect the granite tiles.

Countertop Stain Removal

Hey Mark, with the holidays approaching I've been trying to get some old stains out of my counter. I'm not sure what the stains are from they came with the house. The tile is a beige color and the stain looks like it could be rust or some other metal. Do you have a suggestion? Thanks. - Carol

ANSWER: Hi Carol. First of all, I need to know if you have ceramic tile or natural stone tiles on your countertops. Design Time carries cleaners that should take care of your stains. Come in and see us and we would be happy to give you a free sample.

Matching Old Tiles

Hi Mark, while we were all having our turkey dinner, the gravy boat was knocked off the table. Where the boat hit the floor a couple tiles were broken as well as the gravy going everywhere. How difficult will it be to match these old tiles? They've been there for more than 20 years. Also, what about getting the gravy smell out of the grout? We're not sure what we're going to do, thanks. - Anna

ANSWER: Anna, it sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving! Your broken tiles are going to be extremely difficult to find or match. You have a couple of options: replace your floor with a new one or randomly insert accent tiles thru out your floor, replacing the broken ones with accent tiles. The gravy can be cleaned with a grout cleaner, most tile stores carry cleaners. Come in and see us and we would be happy to discuss your options in greater detail.

Installing Tile Backsplash

Hi Mark, We are having silestone counters put in next week and I will be installing a tile backsplash. But which comes first? Can I go ahead and install the backerboard and tile, or do I wait for the counters to be put in? Or, should I install the backerboard now, and then after the counters go in I can put in the tile? What would you advise I do first? Thanks. - Carl

ANSWER: Hi Carl, I would ask the company that is installing your counter tops, due to the fact that all companies have their own way of doing things and may not appreciate my method.

Glazed or Unglazed Tiles?

Hi Mark. We are going to put down tiles in our family room. What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tiles? Will the glaze help it to not chip? While the kids are teenagers they tend to drop a lot of things. What about waxing the tiles? Can you do that and if so does that help it to not chip? It needs to be superman tough around here, thanks. - Susan

ANSWER: Tile is an excellent choice for a floor covering in your family room. The main difference between glazed and unglazed tile, is that unglazed is much more porous, requiring a sealer to be applied periodically. As far as maintenance, a glazed tile would be much easier to service, requiring no sealer at all. Concerning chipping and toughness, waxing will not make a difference. I would highly recommend a porcelain tile for your home. Porcelain tile is denser than ceramic tile and is fired at a higher temperature for toughness. Here at Design Time and Tile we have a huge selection of porcelain tile products on display. Come in and see us and we will be happy to answer any other questions you have.

Outdoor Tile Placement

We are putting in an outside patio. I want to put in ceramic tiles but my husband is worried about how weather will affect them. Is it possible to put tiles outside? Will the cold weather adversely affect them? We live up in the foothills. Is there a different type of grout needed when tiles will be outside? Thanks. - Carolyn

ANSWER: Ceramic tile is fine to put outside and the weather should not affect a good quality tile. If you live in a area that freezes, I would recommend a porcelain tile. A tile that has a rough finish will minimize slippage when wet. A good quality grout with additives should be fine. I recommend that you seal your grout at least once a year. Cracks and expansion joints in your concrete is also a concern. The experts at Design Time & Tile are here to answer your questions any time, please give us a call.

Tile Stain Removal

Hi Mark, we live out in the country and so have to deal with well water. Our water has a lot of iron in it which is leaving a stain on the tiles in my bathroom. What is the best way to clean this off? I've tried some of the stuff that is supposed to work with little improvement. Once it's clean is there a way to seal it to prevent future stains? Thanks. - Greg

ANSWER: Greg, I assume that you have ceramic or porcelain tile. To remove the iron I would first try a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and use a scrub brush or 3m pad. If the vinegar solution did not work I would try sulfamic acid with a scrub brush or 3m pad. Once you have removed the iron stains I would recommend keeping a 50/50 solution in a spray bottle and wiping tile down after each use. The water being used in the spray bottle should not be your well water. I also would recommend installing an iron/rust treatment system at the well, such as Rid"A"rust system. They used to be available at Sears. Finally, make sure that you seal your grout with a grout sealer.

Replacing Broken Counter Grout

Our bar which stands out in the middle of the kitchen has tiles that hang over the edge. These tiles have been in for about 9 years. When they were first put in we had to have the tile guy come back and fix a couple of the corners where the grout fell out. He has since moved out of the area. The tiles are not as yet broken, but it is only a matter of time before a bump sends them crashing. How difficult is it to replace the grout? Do you need to remove all the old grout and pry up the tile or can you just re-grout it. They seem to still be solidly attached to the counter top. How would you suggest we proceed? - Nan

ANSWER: Nan, most tile stores carry a tool called a grout saw, which is a hand tool (no power) with a carbon-coated blade. You would place the blade in the grout joint and move back and forth, scraping until grout or dirty surface is removed. You can stack the blades together for use in wider joints. It is not necessary to remove all of the grout, just enough so the new grout will bond. You do not need to remove the tile. Once you have prepared the old grout, follow the directions on the new grout bag. Design Time carries all the tools and grout that you would need to complete your project.

Grout Stains

I have a white tile counter top. Some of the grout has gotten stained and nothing I've tried seems to be working. What is the best way to clean older grout?

ANSWER: Most reputable tile stores carry grout cleaning products. Design Time carries a grout cleaner which should do the job for you. I would recommend that you seal your grout after cleaning it to minimize future stains.