Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grout touch up

I've often been asked if the old grout needs to be removed in order to fill in some voids that need to be filled in.
If you have a crack or void in your floor (or wall) grout that may have occurred by expansion joints or merely because the installer in grouting overlooked a void, they can and ought to be filled. Sometimes in the grouting process only the thinness of grout may fill the joint and everything appears normal at the time of the original installation. In time that shallow grout might develop into a void.
If you have spare grout, you need only remove any grout that is loose (with your finger or vacuum), mix a little of the powdered new dry grout with water into a paste in a little dixie cup or something, and fill the void with your finger. Especially if there is but a hole or two.
Let the grout set for a few minutes and gently wipe the repaired hole with a wrung out wet sponge, or even a paper towel - wet or dry. A small hole can be repaired in minutes and wiped clean in seconds with a paper towel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shower Pans

Many people erringly refer to shower floors as shower pans. In the trades, the shower pan is that piece of vinyl that is folded correctly BENEATH the mortar and tile of the shower floor that contains the water and prevents it from seeping to adjoining rooms. It is the container of a sort that forces the water to only go down the drain rather than leak outside the shower. A sort of saucer that prevents the cup's contents from messing the area if spilled.

The definitive test to determine if a shower pan is leaking is to seal the drain, (by plugging it or covering it with plastic and/or tapes) and then externally pouring a pail or 2 of water (to isolate the possibility of pipe leakage) into the shower bottom.

If the water disappears from the shower floor and seeps into the adjoining area - the pan is leaking! There is a hole in the pan or it is otherwise NON-effective and needs to be somehow replaced or remedied!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A notepad?

It's not so much that I'm suggesting you do this, but rather noting that you can.

Have you ever been on the phone or needed to take a note when there was nothing to write on? If a pencil or erase marker (or pen) is handy, and if you have tile counters, backsplashes, or a tile floor - tiles do make a convenient notepad.

You can jot down that info and transcribe it when you can locate somewhere else to write it. Pencil markings can easily be washed from tiles, even some time later. You can jot down that note where you stand and erase it when you no longer need it.

Just a thought.

Monday, May 17, 2010

License Classification

The AZ ROC has recently changed the look of it's website. Before choosing someone based on whether or not they are licensed, do check to see what the license allows the person to do. There are some people who say they are licensed to install tile and their license is no more valid than a driver's license or dog license. A C-48 or L-48 license allow the person to install all the various types of tiles in all its applications, whereas many are quite restrictive as to what types, or whether or not the materials can be installed above a floor, for instance. There are some, for instance, that are limited to only replacing broken tile but not installing it If licensing is one of the criteria you use (and you should) a phone call to the ROC (602-542-1525) in advance would be a better course to begin with.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Glass tile

Not only does it take a "special" equipment to install glass tile, but a special adhesive too! Or so is the word in the industry.
In order to cut glass tile without breaking it, a special saw blade is required, and even that has a tendency to chip the edges. But also, not ANY adhesive will work for the adherence as there is no porocity to glass to speak of so not any adhesive will stick.
Glass tiles are expensive in themselves, acquiring someone who knows how to install them correctly is also worth more!

Ceramic vs. Porcelain

I am often presented with the opinion that porcelain tile is to be the tile of choice and in contrast ceramic to be avoided as a poor substitute. My own attitude is nothing of the sort.

Most of my own home is tiled in ceramic. I recently (some 3 years ago) RE-TILED my house that I had tiled some 30 years prior - with a ceramic tile. Aside from the tile looking dated because 8x8 was fashionable 30 years ago and larger tiles are presently more in vogue, I frankly got sick of looking at the same tile finally.

People think that chips and cracks DON'T show, or show as much, with a porcelain. They do. If you have a crack or chip in your porcelain tile, it ought to bother you as much as with a ceramic. Even full bodied porcelain tiles show if there is a crack or chip. THE ANSWER IS TO HAVE SPARES.

As for porcelain being harder than ceramic - it is. But a can of soup, landing the right way, can damage a porcelain as easily as a ceramic. And most tiles can withstand a lifetime of traffic in a home, whether or not they are porcelain OR ceramic!

Settlement cracks

Over the years I have heard so many remedies regarding preventing settlement cracks in the sub-floor or concrete from damaging the tile floor to be installed over it.

The only logical means of preventing it - in my opinion - is to install a membrane between the crack and the tile above it. And then hope that the movement is not too great beneath that membrane. For excessive movement can disturb the membrane too! And I have seen that such cracks, if the direction should change and the crack close again - has the result of causing a floor to buckle in that area.

Rubberized matting is sold, or sheet vinyl, for instance, but a necessary component is luck too!