Category Archives: Tiling Tips & Tricks

Tile Installation Tips and Tricks

Porcelain Tile Installation Grouting

Porcelain Tile Installation Grouting Process.

Once tile has been installed and has dried properly, the grouting process can begin.  But, allow tile to set firmly before grouting. Grouting tile too soon, before the setting material has set-up, can lead to problems. Uncured setting material may bleed through the joints and discolor the grout.  There is also the risk of destroying the bond by shifting tiles, so allow as much time between setting and grouting as feasible. A day is advisable, but as much as four days might add a level of assurance.

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Skim Coating Mosaic & Glass Tile

Skim Coating Mosaic and Glass Tile.

The installation of mosaic or glass tile can be a delicate process that sometimes requires a few extra steps to get the best results. One such extra step is the process called skim coating.  Skim coating involves the application of a setting material to the back of mosaic tile, glass or stone and then allowing the thin set to cure and harden.

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Tile Trends and Design

Tile Trends and Design in 2015.

Tile trends in 2015 are dominated by hexagonal shapes and textures.
Textured hexagonal tile set 2015 tile trends.

The tile industry is at an exciting crossroads. New production technologies are blending artisan technique with ink jet printing technology to provide looks never before achieved. Tile trends in 2015 are dominated by hexagonal shapes and textures.

Using ceramic and cement tile, thin formats and ink jet printer techniques, we now have wood-look, stone-look, and cement tile designs infused on porcelain tile. The look of wood, stone, metal, and pattern are being subtly blended onto tile to create sophisticated designs. The major supplies of these new products are the state-of-the-art factories of Spain and Italy. The rest of the world’s tile manufacturers are scrambling to catch the trend and get a piece of the action.

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Certified Porcelain Tile Labeling

Certified Porcelain Tile Labeling – a Game of Branding.

Shown is a certified porcelain tile Installation using large format tile.
Porcelain Tile Installation.

For St. Lucie County homeowners, the “Certified Porcelain Tile” labeling on a box of tile certifies little of particular value. That label insures only that the tile has been tested by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the tile has a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less. The label insures nothing more that that. As St. Lucie County’s temperature almost never gets below freezing, that certification is of no value for any tile installation done here, either indoors or outdoors. Continue reading

Bond Breakers | Concrete Slab Bond Breakers

Concrete Slab Bond Breakers.

Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.
Straight Lay Pattern for Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.

Treasure Coast tile contractors enjoy a tile installation advantage.  The vast majority of floor tile installations done here are over a concrete slab. There is no better substrata over which to lay ceramic tile than a concrete slab. That said, the success of any installation over a concrete slab, where tiles are directly bonded in a thin-set application, can go wrong.

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Tile Grout Cleaning, Port St Lucie Grout Cleaning

Tile Grout Cleaning, Port St Lucie Grout Cleaning.

Bathroom Tile Grout Cleaning.Ceramic tiles have remarkable qualities that make them ideal for residential flooring and wall applications.  Tile grout, a necessary element in any tile installation, unfortunately prove less than ideal in residential applications. Most ceramic tile installations done today by residential tile contractors use cementitious grout. All cementitious grouts are porous and subject to staining. That’s why manufacturers and installers recommend sealing grout after it has cured for a couple of days and is completely dry.

Types of cementitious grout for ceramic tile.

There are three basic types of cement based grout for ceramic tile: Unsanded, Fine sanded and Quarry type.

  1. Unsanded grout: Used for wall tiles where the grout joint is less than 1/8″ wide.
  2. Finely Sanded grout: Used for floor tiles where the joints are 1/8″ to 3/8″ wide.
  3. Quarry-type grout: Similar to finely sanded grout for ceramic tiles except that a coarser grade of sand is used. The quarry-type grout for ceramic tile is used for joints that are 3/8″ wide to 1/2″ wide such as those used with Saltillo tiles.

Epoxy grouts are less porous and much less subject to staining, but hard to work with and extremely expensive. Made up of two parts, resin and hardener, epoxy grout comes in both sanded and unsanded varieties and is impervious to most chemicals and stains. Epoxy grout for ceramic tile consists of an epoxy resin and hardener. Epoxy grout is highly resistant to stains and chemicals and has a tremendous bonding strength, making it ideal for countertops and other areas susceptible to stains.

Ceramic Tile Grout Cleaning.

If you routinely mop your tile floor with a mild solution of soap and warm water weekly, grout cleaning sessions need be few and far between. Additionally,  if you also sealed the grout, then those grout cleaning sessions should become a non-necessity.

But, when you think it a necessity, the least abrasive cleaning material is baking soda and water mixed together as a paste and applied  with a tooth brush.  Spread the paste over the grout and scrub. Rinse the grout with water when finished.

The methods below describe how to clean grout in tile that is not natural stone. Do not scrub natural stone with a stiff brush as you risk scratching the stone. With natural stone, try the method below using a cotton cloth rather than a stiff brush, or purchasing a commercial stone cleaner, follow the instructions and test your work in an inconspicuous spot to ensure the stone cleaner won’t harm your tile or grout.

Cementitious Tile Grouts Cleaning.

Sanded grout is actually less dense than unsanded and anything you use to clean sanded grout will completely saturate into the grout. Depending on the color of the grout, either a bleach solution or a vinegar solution combined with hard scrubbing is a safe procedure to clean cement based grouts.

You can use bleach on sanded white grout. Scrub the grout lines with a bleach/water ratio of 1/10 and a stiff brush. Spray or dab the solution onto the stain and let it sit for several minutes and then scrub with a stiff brush. Then rinse with clean water and repeat as necessary.

For non-white grout, use white vinegar rather than bleach. You can use straight white vinegar or start with a 50/50 ratio of white vinegar and water solution, spray or dab it onto the area, let it sit, scrub, then rinse. If the starting solution isn’t strong enough simply add additional vinegar. Scrubbing with vinegar shouldn’t harm your tile or grout at all.

Unsanded grout, because it is more dense, is less apt to let stains saturate beyond the initial top layer of the grout. Using the above method should work well.

That’s it. This method should take care of most stains and discolorations in your grout. Some commercial cleaners will eventually compromise the integrity of cementitious grout. The solutions above will not. Stains do not come out of cement-based products easily. Sometimes, you will not be able to remove a stain from the grout.

If hand scrubbing does not remove your stain or discoloration to your satisfaction you may be better off just replacing the grout.

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Searching for a Professional and Affordable Port St. Lucie Tile Grout Cleaning Service?

You’ve come to the right place! If your looking for a tile installation with permanence and artistry, look no further. You have found a tile setter who is passionate about my craft. When considering tile installation for your home in Port St. Lucie, the issue should never be who is cheapest, but rather who is best.

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Resurrect your existing tile at an affordable price!

I can grout, re-grout, seal, caulk and clean mold, mildew and stained grout, therein restoring your tile to look like new as well as repairing and replacing damaged and broken tile to return your bathroom to like new condition.

It’s amazing how a little tile grout cleaning, caulking and  sealing can resurrect your tiled shower, tub surround, floors, counters-tops or other ceramic tiled surfaces.


Port St Lucie Marble and Tile Contractor.
Quality Work is My Hallmark.

My tiling service areas include Port St. Lucie (PSL), Fort Pierce, Stuart and Vero Beach.

In St. Lucie County Boyer Tile LLC services Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Torino, Tesoro, Lake Charles, Lake Forest, Magnolia Lakes, PGA Village, The Vineyards, St James Golf Club, The Cascades, and Fort Pierce.

Tile Installation Conflict | Tile Setter vs Trim Carpenter

Residential construction work scheduling practices, when implemented poorly,  produce less that optimum results and a tile installation conflict between craftsmen.  It is typical for general contractors in Port St. Lucie to have  trim carpenters scheduled to finish their work before tile setters start floor tile installation.  That practice is problematic.

Although there are reasons for such schedules, the practice often results in increased work and aggravation for tile setters and produces floor tile installations less than perfect.  From the tile setter’s point of view, this is an old argument that rears its ugly head too frequently.

For instance, when a tile setter arrives and finds that door units are already set, he is upset because he will have to use a jamb saw to cut wood off the bottom of the door to clear the additional height of the tile yet to be installed.  In addition, base boards are often already set flush to the cement floor. That practice forces the tile setter to use a jab saw to cut 7/8″ off the bottom of the base board to allow the new tile to slide under the base boards.  The necessity for that additional work is inexcusable.  The trim carpenter should have known what flooring surface was going to be used and set the baseboard accordingly.

Tile Installation Conflict Solutions.

The proper approach for the trim carpenter is to hang all the doors and trim except where there is to be tile. If the trim carpenter sets the trim where there is to be tile, he will create extra work for the tile setter.  If he really has to sets the trim where there is to be tile, he should do it right!  He should use a piece of tile and corrugated cardboard as a spacer, so the tile setter doesn’t have to trim the casing.  After the tile setter installs the tile, he can install the baseboard. Back bevel the bottom of the baseboard and scribe to fit.

Tile Installation Conflict - Rectified tile flooring.
Marble Tile Installation.

Setting doors and base first creates fewer problems than the other way around. Cutting the jambs off allows for a clean, tight fit. If the base is held up the thickness of the backer board and tile plus 1/8″ or less, then any gap can be easily grouted with the rest of the floor, or caulked if you prefer.  Of course, you can work over a finished floor (tile or wood), but as a general rule, installing doors and trim first creates fewer problems and makes for a better looking job.

Depending upon your point of view, tile setter or trim carpenter, this issue has no firm resolution. But, we should all be looking for ways to improve the job we do. Residential construction subcontractors have varied approached to there work.  It is important that they work well with each other (i.e. plumber with tiling shower, counter top with backslash, trim with floor, etc).  Proper communication between subcontractors prior to floor tile installation is vital, if they have never worked together before.


Port St Lucie Marble and Tile Contractor.
Quality Work is My Hallmark.

My tiling service areas include Port St. Lucie (PSL), Fort Pierce, Stuart and Vero Beach.

In St. Lucie County Boyer Tile LLC services Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Torino, Tesoro, Lake Charles, Lake Forest, Magnolia Lakes, PGA Village, The Vineyards, St James Golf Club, The Cascades, and Fort Pierce.