Archive for September 2014

What is Second Choice Tile?

When tile is being being mass produced, much like anything else, it has to undergo many different quality control tests. Inspectors check for imperfections, flaws, and just down right defective material as it comes off of the equipment. Just like many other products, the tile industry has certain tolerances on the quality of the final product, and they are graded very easily by referring to them as first, or second choice. First choice tile is tile that has no major flaws, or defects. Second choice tile is something that didn’t pass quality control and can have imperfections throughout any part of the composition of the tile. First quality tile is nothing to be worried about, if there are any imperfections in the tile, they are rare, and should not affect the final installed products, but lets look at second choice tile, what are the possible imperfections?

Off-Size – From tile-to-tile pieces vary in size more than the industry tolerance of 1/16″

Off-Shade – Tiles may be different shades from tile-to-tile, sometimes noticeably, and sometimes it can be made to look like a natural variation

Wrong Color – Some tiles simply come off the production line a different color than the design called for

Chipped edges – While forming and baking the tiles a corner can sometimes get chipped, but most times it is simple as a chip in the clay underside that you would never see once installed

Glaze Imperfections – These imperfections can range from small pin-holes in the glaze to long lines that span the entire body of the tile, most are not very noticeable but some tiles may not be usable

While these attributes may seem pretty daunting, it is very possible to install second choice tile, and make it look like first quality. Many experienced tile setters have run across defective lots in their careers, so most can combat these defects with ease. When buying the tile to be installed, if it is second choice, make sure to buy at least an extra 10-15% on top of the recommended waste from your tile setter so you can cull out the ones with obvious defects, and of course make sure to tell your installer that you purchased second choice material before they start, no one likes a surprise like that! The bottom line: Second choice tile is not a terrible thing, as you may be able to get if for much less per square foot, and installed to your liking.


Denver Bone & Beige


The Ins And Outs Of Large Format Tile

Over the past few years, the trend among the tile industry has become “the bigger the better”, meaning consumers are getting the largest tile they can find installed in their homes and businesses. Floor tile ranges in sizes from 1×1″ all the way to 36×36″ and sometimes even larger tiles can be found. Large format tile is considered to be any tile with a side being greater than 15″. These types of tiles take a bit more effort to install, you’ll need an upgraded thin-set for large format tiles, wider notch trowel, as well as a better substrate to work with.

Things to consider before going with a larger tile:

How flat is the floor? – Large format tile will not be able to hide imperfections in the substrate like a smaller tile will, it is important to make sure the floor is as smooth and flat as possible.

Is the tile rectified? – Whether or not the tile is rectified (see my post ‘what is rectified tile‘ if you need a definition) plays a big part in your decision to use larger tiles, rectified tile will show imperfections much more than a standard tile. The sharp edge of a rectified tile is very unforgiving and any unevenness in the tiles will be very obvious.

Do you have the necessary tools? – A larger notch trowel will be required for these larger tiles, as well as a saw capable of handling the size tile you choose.

Does your layout support an upgraded size? – Take home a box of tile and lay it out, see if it works well visually. Some room layouts simply will not look good with larger tiles, and if your walls have a lot of jut outs, and/or angles it may be hard to make those intricate cuts in a larger tile.

How close are the grout joints going to be? – Again, this goes back to the flatness of the substrate, if you are doing very tight grout joints, the substrate must be very flat with a larger tile, otherwise you will end up with a lot of lippage from tile to tile.


Laguna Teja 18x18 Floor Tile

New Shipment of Over 15,000 Square Feet of Wood Plank Tile!

Arrived This Morning, A New Shipment of Over 15,000 Square Feet!

6×24 Yukon Series Wood Plank Tile, Available in 3 Colors!

Yukon Beige 6×24 $1.99/sf

Yukon Beige 6x24 Wood Plank Porcelain 1.99sf

Yukon Beige Display

Yukon Gray 6×24 $1.99/sf

Yukon Gray Wood Look Porcelain

Yukon Gray Display

Yukon Brown 6×24 $1.99/sf

Yukon Brown Wood Look Porcelain

Yukon Brown Display

In Stock and Available Now!

To Seal Or Not To Seal?

When choosing your new floor, whether it is Marble, Travertine, Granite, Ceramic, Porcelain, etc. The thought may cross your mind… “Do I need to seal this?” Natural stone always needs to be sealed, even if they are polished. All natural stones are quite porous even with that nice shiny polished finish, so they need a good penetrating sealer applied to protect them. Porcelain or Ceramic tiles on the other hand, do not need to be sealed, as long as they are glazed tiles. The glaze itself is a sealer and makes the face of the tile impervious. Grout may also be sealed with a penetrating sealer to give it an added layer of protection.

Once sealed, the care of the product changes a bit so you do not destroy the sealer when cleaning. All sealed surfaces must be cleaned with a PH neutral cleaner, to preserve that layer of sealer. If you use harsh chemicals on a sealed surface it can strip that sealer right off, and cause a number of other problems.

Here at the Flooring Warehouse Outlet we carry a wide array of Aqua Mix brand sealers and cleaners from standard sealers to heavy duty cleaners and problem solvers. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you choose the correct cleaner, sealer or specialty item that is a good fit for your application.


Click Here To See The Aqua Mix Product Line

Image Credit: Custom Building Products