Tile and Flooring FAQs
- What is the difference between Porcelain Tile and Ceramic Tile?
- Porcelain tile is more scratch resistant than ceramic tile. Porcelain is made from a finer, more dense clay, which results in a more dense, harder body. Also, porcelain tile is fired at higher temperatures than ceramic, resulting in superior durability and stain resistance.
- How do I care for my Porcelain Tile floor?
- Porcelain tile is stain-resistant requiring minimal maintenance. Simply wipe up spills with a damp cloth or sponge. Regular cleaning with clear water or a mild detergent is recommended.
Natural Stone Tiles
- What are the different types of stones?
- There are various types of stones that are used for flooring and decorative purposes. The most well known ones are marble, granite, travertine, limestone, and slate.
- Where do stones come from?
- Mountains are the largest source of natural stone. Riverbeds and the sea are also the sources of natural stone.
- What are shinny flakes inside the stone?
- Each stone type has different minerals, which gives various properties to stone.
- What are the most common stone finishes?
- The most common stone finishes, from rough to fine in increasing order, are: Natural Cleft, Chiseled, Tumbled, Antiqued, Honed, and Polished.
- Is one stone better than other? What is the best stone?
- Each type of natural stone has unique characteristics that make them harder, softer or shinier. Depending on your application, there are some design preferences of some type over another.
- What are the different finishes? What are the differences between?
- Finishing stone is similar to sanding process: smaller grit and longer sanding gives stone more shinny polished look, whereas less will make it look more natural. Finish is a design preference. Usually polished surfaces are used where a modern look is sought.
- What are the advantages of natural stone over man-made stones?
- Natural stone is natural and creates a unique atmosphere everywhere it is used. They will not let go of their beauty even after thousands years. Man-made stones are aesthetically repetitive and have artificial look. They can wear easily over time and will quickly loose their appeal. In addition, natural stones don't need constant maintenance.
- What are the standard sizes for a tile floor? What is the standard thickness of a tile?
- Commonly used tiles are 4x4 to 24x24. The tile size is also a design preference however, larger the area you want to cover you might consider using larger dimensions. Most of the interior stone tiles are 12X12 or 18X18, standard thickness is 3/8" on 12X12 and 1/2" on 18X18.
- What are the decorative stones? What are they used for?
- Decorative stones tiles are used for accentuate various surface covering forms. You can use mouldings to frame an art work on your wall. You can use borders to clarify the distinction between your living room and kitchen. The possibilities are immense with mosaics, mouldings, and borders.
Stone Flooring Care
- How do I prevent staining on Natural Stone?
- Most stones are porous and readily absorb liquids and moisture. Materials like limestone and sandstone are extremely absorbent, while granites and serpentine (green marble) are denser. The use of a sealer will help prevent staining in most situations. Even a sealed surface can stain if left in contact with a staining agent for a long period of time. Therefore, all spills should be wiped up as soon as possible, and coasters or napkins should be set when serving food or drinks on a stone bar, table, or counter top. Soft drinks, coffee, tea, and fruit juices contain mild acids and can etch the polished surface of a stone and stain quite rapidly. These should be cleaned off immediately with a mild soap and warm water.
- How do I clean natural stone tiles?
In order to prevent staining or dirt build-up, regular cleaning is recommended. Stones should be rinsed weekly with warm water and a non-abrasive, clear, non-acidic soap. For polished marble and granite, periodic application of a commercial polish is recommended. This polish remains on the surface of the stone, enhancing the luster and shine of the marble while affording an extra measure of protection .
- If a stain occurs on natural stone, how is it removed?
If stains do occur, an oil and grease stain remover may be required. Whereas, a cleaner will wash off surface dirt, a poultice will actually act to draw out deep-seated dirt and stains from the stone's pores. Some poultice solutions are premixed, which is easily applied to light colored marbles. Several applications may be required for difficult stains, and darker marbles should be tested to make sure that the poultice will not bleach the stone. For recurring problems, and/or a very deep stain or scratches, a professional stone fabricator should be contacted.
- What are some of the basic maintenance facts regarding marble flooring?
- The daily removal of ordinary dust and dirt is an important phase in the maintenance of marble. Sweeping compounds containing oil must never be used on marble because they will eventually discolor the surface. If floor is heavily trafficked it should be cleaned daily and rinsed with clean water until all traces of dirt solution are removed. Marble should then be allowed to dry.
Hardwood Floor Maintenance
- What can do to keep a hardwood floor looking like new?
- Sweep or vacuum regularly, since built-up grit can damage the finish. The vacuum head must be a soft brush or felt type. Be certain the wheels of the vacuum are clean and do not damage the flooring. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar head.
Important: Never wet mop or flood your floor with water or other products. This can severely damage the floor.
- Remove spills promptly using a soft cloth. Important: Do not use oil soaps, liquid, or paste wax products or other household cleaners that contain lemon oil, tung oil, or ammonia.
- What steps should be taken to protect hardwood floors from staining and other problems?
- For candle wax or chewing gum: Fill a plastic bag with ice and put it on the wax or gum until it becomes brittle enough to flake off; wipe area with a clean cloth dampened with mineral spirits; with a clean cloth, gently wipe any remaining particles off.
- For cigarette burns: Scrape excess off with dull knife. For shallow surface burns, rub gently with fine steel wool coated lightly with mineral spirits. For deeper burns, scrape away charred areas with a small dull knife, then rub the surface with fine steel wool and mineral spirits once more.
- For food spills, lipstick, rubber scuffs: - Simply apply mineral spirits to a clean cloth and rub gently. Apply another dab and lightly buff with a separate clean cloth.
- Ink: Scrape excess off with dull knife. With a clean cloth or paper towel, wipe affected area right away, then rub gently with a soft clean cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
- Animal spots: Wipe up major portion immediately and thoroughly, then wipe area with a clean cloth.
- Are laminate floors easy to clean?
- Yes. A laminate floor is the closest thing there is to a maintenance-free floor. Ordinary vacuuming or sweeping is usually sufficient to keep the floor clean. If needed, an occasional damp mopping is recommended.
- What type of mat can be placed on laminate floors?
- Outside doormats should be utilized to prevent dirt, sand, grit and other substances from being tracked onto the laminate floor. Non-staining mats should be used on laminate flooring. Do not put rubber-backed or latex-backed mats on your laminate floor - they may stain or damage the surface. Staining can also occur if there is a dye transfer from an object that has been laid on the floor.
- What type of chair protectors should be used with laminate flooring?
- Try to use wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors that are at least one inch in diameter, made of non-pigmented, hard plastic that rest flat on the floor. Non-staining felt protectors can also be used. Casters with a minimum 3/4" flat surface width or floor protectors are recommended for all moveable furniture. Metal protectors should be rustproof.
TileCraft's southeastern MA, Cape Cod, and eastern RI service area
- Where will TileCraft install flooring and carpeting in southeastern MA, Cape Cod, and eastern RI?
- TileCraft installs quality marble tile, stone tile, glass tiles, tumbled sea glass tiles, porcelain tile, ceramic tiles, vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, hardwood flooring, and wool, plush, Berber, and commercial carpeting throughout the southeastern MA, Cape Cod, and eastern RI region, including the communities of: Wareham MA, Onset MA, Marion MA, Mattapoisett MA, Fairhaven MA, Acushnet MA, New Bedford MA, North Dartmouth MA, South Dartmouth MA, Westport MA, Fall River MA, Swansea MA, Somerset MA, Seekonk MA, East Providence RI, Providence RI, Bristol RI, Warren RI, Barrington RI, Tiverton RI, Portsmouth RI, Middletown RI, Newport RI, Little Compton RI, Assonet MA, Freetown MA, East Freetown MA, Dighton MA, Rehoboth MA, Berkley MA, Taunton MA, Carver MA, Middleboro MA, Lakeville MA, Rochester MA, Bourne MA, Falmouth MA, Sagamore MA, Pocasset MA, Cotuit MA, Sandwich MA, Marstons Mills MA, Mashpee MA, Barnstable MA, Centerville MA, Osterville MA, Dennis MA, Hyannis MA, Yarmouth MA, and many other MA & RI communities. Visit our Service Area page for more information.