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Frequently Asked Questions: Tile International

  1. I DON’T THINK I CAN AFFORD GRANITE/MARBLE.
  2. WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
  3. CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN STONE?
  4. WHAT IS FABRICATION?
  5. WHAT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME?
  6. WHAT KIND OF EDGES CAN I PUT ON MY COUNTERTOP?
  7. WHAT KIND OF SINK CAN I USE?
  8. HOW DO I HAVE TO PREPARE MY HOME FOR THIS PROCESS?
  9. WHAT KIND OF FINISHES CAN I HAVE ON THE COUNTERTOP?
  10. HOW DO I CARE FOR IT?
  11. WHAT ITEMS CAN BE FABRICATED?
  12. CAN I LAY A MEDALLION IN MY ENTRY WAY?

Frequently Asked Questions: Tile & Ceramics

  1. WHAT KIND OF TILES DO YOU HAVE?
  2. DO I HAVE TO USE SMALL TILES FOR MY BATHROOM?
  3. IS TILE SLIPPERY?
  4. WHAT AREAS CAN I TILE?
  5. YOU HAVE SO MANY TILES TO CHOOSE FROM. HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH ONE(S) ARE FOR ME?
  6. TELL ME ABOUT MOSAICS.
  7. WHAT KIND OF TILES DO YOU HAVE?
  8. HOW DO I GET A FINISHED EDGE?
  9. HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH TO ORDER?
  10. WHAT KIND OF TILES DO YOU HAVE IN STOCK?
  11. WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF INSTALLATION?
  12. HOW DO I CARE FOR MY TILE FLOOR?
  13. CAN I TILE MY BATHROOM CEILING?
  14. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TRENDS?
  15. IS IT EXPENSIVE TO TILE MY HOME?
  16. HOW CAN I KEEP MY COSTS DOWN AND STILL ACHIEVE A DESIGNER LOOK?
  17. DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER INSTALLATION?
  18. WHAT ARE THE EASIEST TILES TO MAINTAIN?
  19. WHAT KIND OF SURFACE FINISHES CAN I HAVE ON MY TILING?
  20. WHAT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME?
  21. WHAT IS A “WEAR RATING”?

I DON’T THINK I CAN AFFORD GRANITE/MARBLE.
You’d be surprised at how affordable marble or granite can be for you! Let us quote your kitchen or bathroom. There are several relatively affordable options available for someone interested in furnishing or accenting their home with stone. Granite or marble tiling may be a desirable, more affordable alternative to slabs, however may require more time/labor. If you can provide us with a drawing and/or measurements, we’ll try to provide a quote for you on the spot!

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WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
First, what kind of stone do you want? Visit our showroom and choose from our wide selection of granite and marble. Then, let us know what you are in need of: tile flooring, kitchen countertop, bathroom vanity, etc. Someone from our knowledgeable sales team will assist you with details such as accents, edge type, finish/surface type, and backsplashes. We will need a precise template of the countertop with exact measurements and location of sink(s), soap dispenser, appliances, etc. You can do this yourself with cardboard or plywood, or we can perform this step for you in your home. Then, the template is sent to the shop where slabs are cut, polished and finished. If you are tiling your floor, we will need to know the square footage of the room(s) or area(s) to be tiled. Finally, we come to your home and install your new counter or floor.

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CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN STONE?
Of course! Our showroom has many kinds of marble and granite on display. When you come in, take a look around. There is so much to choose from. And if you have a specific stone in mind, let us know; we will try our best to research and locate it (or something similar) for you. Once you have viewed our samples and have your stone in mind, we encourage all customers visit our modern fabrication facility to view the actual slab before cutting, ensuring that the stone to your liking.

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WHAT IS FABRICATION?
Fabrication is the custom process in which we manufacture the stone of your choice into your very own countertop, floor tiles, furniture, etc. Fabrication includes cutting the slab of marble or granite to the correct size and shape; cutting any holes or grooves for placement of sink, faucets, soap dispenser, etc.; and finally, polishing the stone to your desired finish.

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WHAT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME?
Generally, turn around time for marble/granite is approximately 3 weeks from the time of your order, assuming typical availability and accessibility of materials and resources. This is assuming we have received your deposit and your home is prepared for installation. We require this amount of time to account for placing the order for the stone, for fabrication/ customization of your stone, as well as, installation at your home or place of business. We will always inform you should there be a delay or backorder. On occasion, your order may be ready sooner than 3 weeks, in which case we will notify you and possibly set up an earlier time for installation.

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WHAT KIND OF EDGES CAN I PUT ON MY COUNTERTOP?
We offer the following edge styles for countertops. Please note: The thick red line represents a polished surface; the thin black line at the bottom is unpolished.

edges

We can also fabricate customized edges in addition to the styles you see above.

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WHAT KIND OF SINK CAN I USE?
There are 2 basic types of sinks: a “drop in” and an “undermount”. A drop-in sink is simply a sink that sits in place in a hole through the top of your counter. This sink is essentially held in place because the rim of the sink extends out and sits around the edge of the cut-out. An undermount sink is mounted with bolts on the underside of the countertop. The perimeter of the cut-out in the marble or granite is visible and polished. This creates a very attractive, exquisite look. Of course, there are variations and exceptions to these 2 types of sinks, so it is extremely important that you let us know what kind of sink you have in your kitchen or bathroom. We will customize the cut-out in your countertop so that your sink will fit properly during installation. Keep in mind that we have access to a wide selection of custom-ordered sinks and we would be more than happy to assist you in selecting the sink that best suits your countertop and your taste!

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HOW DO I HAVE TO PREPARE MY HOME FOR THIS PROCESS?
It is essential that your home be prepared for our installers to put your countertop or floor in place. All cabinets must be installed and secured to the wall before your countertop or tiling can be installed. This is the only way to insure proper and accurate installation of your granite/marble pieces.

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WHAT KIND OF FINISHES CAN I HAVE ON THE COUNTERTOP?
There are two basic finishes to choose from, either polished or honed. Polished granite or marble has a beautiful, smooth, glossy surface. Stone that is honed has a non-glossy, or matte, finish. We also offer an fascinating new “leather” finish for marble surfaces. Choices like these allow customers like you to coordinate their own tastes into the design of a room or area.

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HOW DO I CARE FOR IT?
Stones are a natural substance so they are porous, to a certain extent. Therefore, to prevent staining we recommend that all stone products be sealed a few weeks after installation, and one year periodically thereafter. You can do this easily yourself with sealing products which we offer in-stock. To clean your marble or granite, warm water and minimal soap will take out most surface stains.

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WHAT ITEMS CAN BE FABRICATED?
Use your imagination! In addition to marble or granite flooring and countertops, we can also create your very own custom furniture from your choice of stone. For example, corner caddies for your shower, window sills, shower sills, door jams, soap dish, patio furniture, steps/risers, entertainment center, table tops, conference room table, fireplaces, etc. The sky’s the limit!

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CAN I LAY A MEDALLION IN MY ENTRY WAY?
There is no end to the possibilities. If you’d like a medallion in your entry way, or any other design for that matter, all we need are a drawing and dimensions and we can incorporate your design onto your new floor.

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WHAT KIND OF TILES DO YOU HAVE?
We offer an amazing selection of tiles, including materials such as natural stone (marble, granite, etc.), ceramic, and porcelain.

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DO I HAVE TO USE SMALL TILES FOR MY BATHROOM?
No. Tiles come in all shapes and sizes. As a matter of fact, larger tiles may make your bathroom look larger. The only place we’d actually recommend using small tiles is on your shower floor. We would be glad to help you decide which tile best suits you and your bathroom.

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IS TILE SLIPPERY?
This is a myth that many of our customers face us with. A glossy finish does not make a tile more slippery. As always, however, a wet floor poses more danger than one that is not wet, regardless of material or finish.

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WHAT AREAS CAN I TILE?
You can tile practically any area of your home or office. Tile is suitable for a floor, kitchen, counter, backsplash, wall, shower, you could even create a tiled table top.

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YOU HAVE SO MANY TILES TO CHOOSE FROM. HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH ONE(S) ARE FOR ME?
Many customers have a difficult time deciding which tiles they want, especially after they see all of the choices we have to offer. Think about what will “feel” right in your home. Are you going for a specific look, color scheme, texture, etc.? Still can’t decide? Take a sample or two home so you can envision the finished project.

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TELL ME ABOUT MOSAICS.
Mosaics are small tiles which are usually arranged into a picture or pattern. They can be made of stone, ceramics, porcelain, etc. and maybe used to tile an entire wall or floor, or as a border or decorative insert to accent more basic tiles. Mosaics are an interesting way to add a creative, customized touch to a room.

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HOW DO I GET A FINISHED EDGE?
Most ceramic wall tiles and some floor tiles come with coordinating finished edge pieces, called bullnose or trim. These pieces are factory made. Porcelain tiles can be polished or fabricated in our shop, if you should need a finished edge.

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HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH TO ORDER?
If you are not sure how much tile you need, let us know the dimensions of the space you are tiling and we can figure it out for you. Most tile is priced either by the square foot or by the piece.

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WHAT KIND OF TILES DO YOU HAVE IN STOCK?
Our in-stock supply varies. Certain popular designs may be available on-site in our warehouse. If you need your tile immediately, a salesperson can easily locate our in-stock availability. You may also be able to find a bargain in our annex, a section of our warehouse containing off-price, discontinued or end-of-lot tile remnants.

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WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF INSTALLATION?
First, before tiling the floor or wall area needs to be prepared, if necessary. Then the tile is installed with thinset and grouting is applied. Some floors may require cleaning and/or sealant following installation.

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HOW DO I CARE FOR MY TILE FLOOR?
Wash floor with warm water and minimal soap product (i.e. Pine Sol or Mr. Clean). Too much soap could leave a dulling residue. You can remove this simply by rinsing with water (no soap) until it’s gone. Do not use bleach or ammonia on your tiles.

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CAN I TILE MY BATHROOM CEILING?
Anything is possible. Generally, the only place that one might consider installing tiles on the ceiling is in the shower. This way, there are no peeling paint or paper, and mold/mildew is most easily prevented or prevented.

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HOW DO I “DRESS UP” A BASIC TILE?
If you are looking to accent a basic or plain tile, you can use decos and insert tiles, or borders/listelos.

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WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TRENDS?
More and more people are leaning toward color when the decide to remodel their home. Choosing the right colors can certainly make a room seem more inviting, or elegant.

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IS IT EXPENSIVE TO TILE MY HOME?
We will work with you select the best tile to satisfy your budget. In addition to our many, beautiful, custom-order tiles and borders, you may want to visit our annex, a part of our warehouse which holds a large inventory of discontinued or end-of-lot tiles at unbelievably reasonable prices. You may just find a hidden treasure.

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HOW CAN I KEEP MY COSTS DOWN AND STILL ACHIEVE A DESIGNER LOOK?
We will work with you select the best tile to satisfy your budget. In addition to our many, beautiful, custom-order tiles and ceramics, you may be able to find something appealing in our annex.

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DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER INSTALLATION?
Yes, we are a full service company. We offer tile selection, as well as fabrication (if necessary) and installation, for an additional labor charge.

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WHAT ARE THE EASIEST TILES TO MAINTAIN?
Ceramics are all generally considered easy maintenance. The only ones that require a little extra care, such as sealing, are natural stone or unglazed tile. This is because they are more porous than a glazed tile.

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WHAT KIND OF SURFACE FINISHES CAN I HAVE ON MY TILING?
For the most part, ceramic tiles are sold with the finishes you see on display in our showroom. Most are either glazed to unglazed. Textures may vary. Some tiles are designed to look glossy or polished, and some are matte. Some even have a “stone” look. There are countless choices.

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WHAT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME?
Most tiles, if not already in stock, can be here within one week. Installation times may vary, depending on our schedule, but never longer than one month.

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WHAT IS A “WEAR RATING”?
A wear-rating designates a tile’s level of durability. Generally, wear ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the least durable, and 5 being the most durability. More specifically, guidelines are as follows: 1 = wall tiles; 2 = bathroom floor; 3 = residential floor (kitchen/living room); 4 = heavy residential/light commercial; 5 = most porcelain tiles, regardless of use/location.

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