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!

Tile over tile

It is not generally known, but tile CAN be installed over other tile! I have done it numerous times - on floors - showers - tubsplashes. There is no reason to believe it cannot be done as it is just another substrate. And the installer needs only the appropriate adhesive.

One of the logical restrictions is that the area to be tiled is restricted to where there is existing tile. To allow that there will be a significant difference in height. This is to suggest that if a floor is already down in ceramic, a new one can be installed on top of it BUT one cannot continue to an adjoining area as well since the new floor area would need to be appropriately raised to obtain the same height.

The advantage, of course, is the elimination of mess of tearout and the additional expense.

Even More Clarification

And now having spoken with the individual who suggests that he was in fact the author of the Licensing regulation and the "Handyman exemption" in the Arizona statutes, I want to examine it still further.

It was explained to me that the element of "part of a larger project" is indeed part of the statute, but a major element in the enforcement and prosecution of that part has to be knowledge aforethought and intent. Of course, there might be the lack of knowledge on the part of the unlicensed contractor as in the case of a carpet tuck. The carpet person may be unaware that the project is recent and he was actually a part of it UNLESS he was hired by the person who did the tile job. Or the homeowner.

Of course the homeowner would know that tucking the carpet was a part of the project, at least for him. So if it was the intention of the homeowner to hire an unlicensed contractor prior to the installation, knowing he intended to hire someone unlicensed, then he would be guilty of the perpetration of a crime.

And too, if any individual contracts to perform a task where the materials AND labor equal or exceed that $1000 threshold, they would be considered guilty of that crime. So, of course, ANY flooring company who hires installers who provide him with a fixed price for installation where the product AND installation exceed $1000, and NOT possessing a license, is guilty of that crime as well. In fact, not only the installer but also the flooring company who knowingly hire the installer.

License Update

A Director from the ROC told me that as regards my Residential License, the ceiling is now $1000, materials and labor combined. BUT other inspectors have suggested that if the work was part of a project $1000 or greater, than even a "contract" for $1 will exceed the threshold and be punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Maximum penalty: $2500 fine and 6 months in jail.

This Director suggested that since the statute DOESN'T SPECIFICALLY suggest that business of "a much larger project", it is not prosecutable. He suggested that it is specific for the project the unlicensed contractor is doing specifically.

But since many inspectors from that Agency want to enforce that business of within a larger project, I would suggest approaching it with caution.

Unfortunately the State Legislature, I have come to discover, have made statutes very ambiguous and in much need for clarification and refinement. In some sense, that is why I have found the need for creating still one more blog. My blog, Tile News. I will dedicate a good deal of that blog in that interest.

Gauged and Ungauged - Slate

The terms gauged and ungauged have a specific relevance especially in regards to stone - and even more specifically - slate. Slate can be purchased either way and gauged is typically more expensive - for a reason!

Gauged has to do with the sameness of the pieces, and it particularly refers to the thickness. Ungauged slate I have seen vary in thickness from 1/8 inch to more than an inch from one side to another. Gauged vary as well, but typically stay in a variance less than 1/4 inch. The ungauged should be installed in a thick mortar bed to better regulate the evenness on the surface - like flagstone. Gauged may be installed in a thinset application.

But even gauged slate ought to be installed at a greater price, particularly for two reasons. Unlike ceramic, each piece must be cut on a wet saw; but in addition, there should be more care given in the installation to try to keep the surface as flat as possible. With the variation from piece to piece, and even within the pieces themselves, the installer has more of a challenge trying to keep the floor as flat as possible - and depending upon the consistancy of the gauged pieces, the task is almost impossible. But with more effort - and time - the results can be obvious.

More about SPARES

I can't overemphasize how important are spare tiles. When I came into the business, tile was thought to last forever, and sometimes does. At least our forever and then some. But forever is a long time. I have discovered over the years how people often seek a "new look" so removing or covering the old is a solution and this is not for them.

But for those expecting to keep their tile throughout their lifetime in one house, spares are important! Tile DYE LOTS change frequently so if a tile is still available (and often that's not the case) the shading, coloring, or other aspects may be different. Only the original can be assured to look the same, a patch may be as odd as the tile it is replacing.

And travertine I have found to be worse. Different look, different size, different thickness. And difficult to remove as typically the grout joints are much tighter and the material is so soft - chipping neighbors when trying to remove the errant tile.

Nevertheless, I always encourage people to keep spares if they can be put away somewhere, and to change them when trying to sell the house unless you have so many that you can do it without jeopardy. Like anything, tile can be broken or chipped.

Price deception

I am often asked, "How much do you charge for...". But as I suggested, it is not simple to give an answer to that question because too many factors change the cost.

But I have heard how a few contractors have gotten around that situation. They typically charge a "bottom line" cost but then do some adjusting at the end.

"You asked how much I charge for so and so, and that is still my fee, HOWEVER - I need to charge you EXTRA for the grout, adhesive, prep, crack fixing, risers, etc." and in your shower "window, soap dishes, shampoo caddy, decorative band, etc."

Of course if these things were spelled out and enumerated BEFORE the job, there's the likelihood the other contractor would be cheaper. Or the same.

So the consumer SHOULD be asking what the finished product would be required to pay COMPLETE when the job is finished. Final price, bottom line, no surprises.


Assuming one has the tools and the knowledge about how to use them correctly, and is aware of the various products for installation, the next most important thing is layout! A proper layout of a job can often be the difference of an attractive job or one that is weak or downright awful. It can also, amazingly, be the factor in making a job run quicker and easier as well as more pleasing in appearance.

Whether the job is a floor or a backsplash, a tub, a shower, or a countertop - whatever the installation - they all begin with that FIRST TILE! That's the one that dictates where the entire rest of the installation will follow.

Since beginning in this trade, I have performed probably no less than 4000 installations in almost as many residences or places of business. I have had to determine where to lay that first tile in each one. And have done so successfully over and again.

It occurred to me that such knowledge and experience can be a financially useful commodity.

For those of you adventuresome enough to do your own installation, but have some misgivings about where to begin that first tile, I would be happy to come out to the job and share where I would begin any particular installation for a small fee - probably $100 - if the job is local. And explain why. As long as the job is in the Phoenix/Scottsdale general area. Hopefully the information will either inform or validate your instincts, or prove useful in the hiring of another installer. It can possibly be your most important investment.


Years ago people asked me for a "per square foot" and it was easy to give an answer based on a few parameters.
For floors I would inquire about the approximate total size of the job, whether it was to be laid straight or diagonal, what material was to be used, location of the job.

Now so much more dictates the cost, because there is so much variety even from tile to tile. The bottom line is to be able to make the job bid inexpensive enough to be chosen and still produce enough income to be able to support yourself and your family.

40 years ago a very good and caring tile setter told me, "Anything that can be done, can be done better." He was right. Today the craftsman, setter, artisan has to achieve a balance of workmanship that equals or exceeds the expectations of the owner/buyer - while still producing it at a pace that assures an adequate income. At times it is a difficult situation. I will expand on this thought in another blog.

Commercial License

In Arizona, work that is not done in a residence but rather in a place of business is considered to be Commercial. In order to perform any type of service requiring a license - such as tile - where a price is negotiated beforehand, the party doing the service MUST BE LICENSED! Regardless of the price!

What this suggests is that the repair of merely a few tiles, unless performed by a salaried employee, where the owner or Contractor arrives at an agreed upon price for the service with the person doing the work, that party - the installer - MUST have a Commercial License to do so! A $10 repair or a $100 installation, both require a License if the price is agreed upon before the service. There is NO "Handyman Clause" in Commercial work!

Furthermore, BOTH parties - if caught - are criminally liable. The party doing the hiring as well as the party doing the work. In order to do Commercial work in the state of Arizona, for an agreed upon price, the person doing the service MUST be licensed. No matter the cost.

And unless the installer or repairman is a salaried employee, or the hired person is working hourly with all the withholding monies being withdrawn as prescribed by law, then BOTH parties are considered acting outside the law and subject to fines and criminal penalties.


It should come as no surprise that Licensed Contractors are required to carry insurance. As such, the insurance is intended to offset any accidents that may occur while performing work on the job. Should the lamp be broken by the installer while working on the residence, or the wall be damaged, or the table be marred - all of these misfortunes can be rectified by the insurance the Contractor is required to possess.

Of course, deductibles often have to be met and should there be claims against the policy, a strong likelihood is that the premiums will increase as in any other policy. However it ought to be reassuring to know that the damage can be restored by the Contractor even if the cost may offset the cost of the job.

Early in my days in tile, I became aware of a tile helper who inadvertently dropped a commode while doing a "favor" for the homeowner rather than causing the owner an additional expense of hiring a plumber. That commode cost the helper $500 which was more than the helper earned in 2 weeks at that time. Had a contractor been doing the job, such damage would have been covered by the Contractor's insurance less any deductible.


In order for a company to acquire a license in Arizona, one of the demands by the ROC (Registrar of Contractors) is that the company MUST have a bond and that bond must always be current. If the company is licensed to do commercial work, as well as residential work, then TWO bonds are required.

The purpose of the bond, I was told by the agent of the bonding company, is to assure that the SUPPLIER will be paid. If the consumer pays the contractor for the materials, and if the contractor defaults in paying for the materials (as may be the case should the materials be bought "on account" and the Contractor "skips town" or "goes under") then at least the supplier would be compensated for the goods sold up to the amount of the bond.

This would be different than the Recovery Fund, which is a fund set up by the ROC so that when a job is deemed unacceptable to the consumer and then the ROC as well, AND the Contractor either is unwilling or unable to bring the job up to industry standards, the Recovery Fund is intended to compensate the consumer.

Residential Licensing

Contracting is when a price is quoted and agreed upon by both parties for any type of service. As opposed to the indefinite option of working for an hourly wage. In Arizona whenever tile or likened materials are installed in a residence where the cost of the materials AND labor exceed $999 and the price is negotiated before hand, the State requires that the Contractor be "licensed". In addition, the law suggests that if the installation is part of an overall project where the cost is $1000 or more, then a license is required by any and all participants in that project unless the worker is working for a licensed contractor and being payed an hourly wage.

What that suggests is that BY ARIZONA STATE LAW, if anyone gives a bid for any installation, where the material and labor TOGETHER are $1000 or more, the person MUST be licensed. If the material by itself is $999 and the installer suggests he will do the job for $1, he MUST be licensed. If the $10 tile repair is part of a bigger project that exceeds $1000 and a firm price is negotiated, the installer must be licensed.

And even if the worker who works for a licensed contractor has negotiated an agreed upon price for the installation, THAT TOO, requires a license! As that is contracting to a contractor!

Only a project, where the materials AND labor (regardless of who buys the materials) are less than $1000 together, and the work done in the residence is singular and not part of a bigger project, can that work be negotiated legally by an UNLICENSED contractor, who is then classified as a "handyman".

Back again

For some reason I have not put the amount of interest in this blog that I should have. My intention is to change that. It won't have the frequency of change as the quotes. They are easier to find and pass on. As I've always been especially keen on people, I've also been very impressed when people make clever and witty remarks. Therefore the sense of the other blog.

But now I am going to put more effort into my Experience. I've been doing tile work for almost 40 years and I still enjoy doing it. The intent of this blog is not to teach anyone how to do the work, but to educate the consumer regarding the important aspects about tile and related products. Things that I often point out when I am bidding projects.

Of course, these are all MY opinions. But typically opinions formed by EXPERIENCE. Not pablum fed but things I have come to know over time. I hope you will find them useful!

Also previously I had discouraged comments because I felt I hadn't the time to comment on the comments. But if you have a constructive opinion to what I had offered, be free to add your opinions. The intent of the blog is to educate the consumer. My opinions are only that, I may be off-base at times.


Travertine is still in vogue (though I have heard that designers are beginning to shy away from it.) It is harder to install because it has square cut edges typically. Unless it is the travertine with chiseled edges.

In order to look correct installed, it should be installed level. Tile often has cushioned edges that allow a certain amount of latitude as it conforms to the unevenness of a sub-floor.

And the flat bottom of travertine requires more care in the installation whereas a tile has a stamped bottom or ridges, etc. that can offset the combing of the adhesive somewhat. Plus travertine, like other stones, must be cut on a wet-saw where many tiles can be cut on a cutting board. And it is softer so sometimes will break even in the handling or cutting. Adding to more time and care.

So the extra demands of the product are what causes the installation prices for it to be greater than a conventional tile, as one would expect. In addition, inside the home travertine needs to be sealed and re-sealed to maintain its appearance. It is a product not usually purchased by the poor or frugal.

Installation prices

Many factors affect the price of installation. Basically time equals money. If an installation is more difficult and therefore requires more days to complete, it stands to reason it should cost more.

But also different materials install differently, as do different sizes of material, as do room layout and tile layout.

Larger tiles are not easier to install but harder. They take longer to handle and are heavier and more cumbersome to mark and cut. Trying to have them overcome the variations in the concrete is more difficult than a smaller tile following the variations. Any thinking installer will not charge the same across the board, but consider all these factors.


Typically most tile is installed straight - or diagonal (diamond pattern) - as most customers usually purchase only one size of tile. For a slight variation in style that is neither as difficult to install as the diagonal and therefore not as expensive, but to add an interesting look, I have now installed many floors in a brickwork pattern. As my kitchen on the website suggests.

But Daltile has a number of patterns available for the viewing if one is adventuresome and prepared for a truly interesting look in a floor. You can view these patterns at:

The installation ought to be more expensive but the look can be quite unique.


Over the years I have felt the biggest contribution that Designers perform is introducing new products to their clients. Products that the clients would be unaware of otherwise. It's also been my view that many designers like to impose THEIR taste on clients as they seemingly feel they 'know' better than their clients what is currently in vogue.

Recently I have become impressed by a Designer who LISTENS to her clients. Aside from her knowledge of materials, especially floor coverings, Margaret Ohannesian impressed me by saying how she puts her clients' desires and interests first and then tries to convey those desires into an attractive environment. It always seemed to me that if a person is spending money on their home to enrich their own enjoyment in it, it should be decorated with that purpose primarily. If it's for sale ability there ought to be a compromise at best.

I felt I owed her a plug by passing on her number: 480-948-5940.

Choosing a grout color for floors

Typically I have advised customers to choose a color some one or two shades off the color of the tile chosen. What you want to do is showcase the TILE not the grout. By choosing a grout similar to the tile, the observer is now drawn to viewing the tile rather than the lines!

Unfortunately tile grout darkens with time, even though it can be cleaned as already discussed. I therefore have urged customers to consider a medium tone grout if practical so that darkening will still look attractive in time. Dark grouts will also become darker!

And perhaps, not too amazingly, often 5 or 6 colors may be equally appropriate for most tiles. It shouldn't be a big decision to choose an appropriate color grout. One of a few will likely look fine and subtly change with time anyhow.

Settling cracks and spare tile

When cracks in a floor seem to run in a continuous line through a few joining tiles, it is likely because the concrete slab beneath it is cracking. There is no sure fire way to prevent this but the best is slipping a membrane between the slab and the tiles. When I see sheet vinyl already down I have opted to leave it for that reason. There are adhesives that bond to vinyl and the vinyl over a crack will absorb most movement of a slab.

More importantly, it is in the best interest of the owner to have and keep SPARE tile when a job is done! And I typically advise to replace the tiles in question just before selling the house unless you have plenty of spares, as it can occur again. It is the earth moving! At least to the new owner the floor will be in acceptable condition.

There will be more written about this later.

Grout joint size

I have often been asked to make the grout joint as small as possible. Usually by people who imagine that a smaller grout joint will demand less cleaning because there is less to get dirty.

My answer is always the same: It will depend on how well gauged the tile is. Too often tiles are not the SAME SIZE! They may appear to be the same but often vary in size and sometimes even in shape. Tiles sometimes have a long and short size.

I have seen tiles sometimes vary in size as much as 3/8 of an inch! And typically porcelain tiles vary the most. If the variance is excessive, it denies the ability of the joint being too small. As it will finally cause the joint somewhere to be butt joint or too large a joint in order to keep the tiles aligned when there is variance.

Ceramic Tile - Price

I often tell my customers that in ceramic tile, inexpensive doesn't have to mean CHEAP! Many times the cost of tile can be inexpensive because of a number of reasons: Warehouses are trying to move it; a product is purchased in such a fantastic quantity as to produce a much lower cost for the supplier; the country where it is made can produce it cheaper; a color or style may not be popular overall but just right for YOU; a product is being discontinued; or just that the mark-up is significant enough to be able to sell it at a significant discount and still do okay. Especially if it causes the consumer to view other products.

The point is that factors that are important about buying tiles ought to be the color, size, finish, edging, shape and PRICE! Don't let an inexpensive price discourage you - unless the product is SECONDS. (Which typically are their rejects.) As long as it is first grade tile, the inexpensive tile ought to last just as long as the expensive tile.

Types of install

For some reason, many salespeople suggest that installing tile on a diagonal makes a room look bigger. I disagree. It certainly makes it look BUSY. Sometimes very distractingly so!

My take is that tile should be functionally attractive. I believe the diagonal installation can even be disturbing, but the floor covering ought not draw the attention of the total room or area.

As for the illusion of increased size, I have come to think it is the long straight lines - the railroad track effect - that makes an area appear larger. The diagonal eliminates that option. And one can come to that judgement - or not - by viewing from a corner when there is tile already laid.


Now this is MY opinion again. I have time and again told MY customers that I question the real benefit of applying sealer to ceramic tile grout. No doubt there is some benefit, but it is similar to applying clear nail polish to nails. How much it protects it is questionable. And I have always wondered, too, how often it has to be REDONE!

Usually I have seen customers who have always apologized for their sealer. "Must have put it on wrong", or "put it on too late, I guess"... whatever. The only time I have used it in my home (applied by a professional) it happens to be the dirtiest and/or darkest my grout has ever looked! I was/am very disappointed by the result.

This is different than applying it as a decorative finish to porous products like saltillo, or slate, or travertine inside a home. But I am left with wondering the real benefit of applying any to grout where the product is "tile".

Types of Tile

As mentioned, "tile" comes in many shapes, sizes, thicknesses, colors, and types. One of the best definitions of tiles in general can be found on this link:
Types of Tile - Porcelain and Ceramic


John Bridge

I recently was directed to a website by my daughter-in-law that impressed me greatly. Amazingly our backgrounds are remarkably similar and I intend to "borrow" his information for my new "advice page" quite often as he graciously makes it available to the world.

From what I have read I was duly impressed because what I intended to do - HE has done already!

So before beginning, I first want to give credit to HIS research as it will make my job considerably easier. And from what I noticed, most or all the information is quite on the money.

The only point in MY page, therefore, might be ANOTHER way to find this information, and in the very few areas I might disagree with him. (If any) So THANK YOU John Bridge!

Tile size

For some reason people often think that a small room demands small tiles. I have found it just as fitting to put a large tile in a small area. Larger tiles only mean less grout joints - and less grout joints to get dirty.

Cleaning grout

One tip I frequently offer to people regards the cleaning of grout. It's a "Dear Heloise" kind of thing. The best implement I have ever found to clean the grout that darkens after time is a 'Scotch Brite' pad and soapy water. The fuzzy on one side and sponge on the other.

Just a gentle rubbing over the grout joint with the fuzzy side and followed by the sponge side works much better than toothbrushes that housewives tend to immediately try at first. And the whole job needn't be done at one time. Occasional bits now and again will improve the small areas that frequently darken in the main walk areas until the whole is restored.

And probably the worse culprit for darkening grout is walking about in bare feet and the oils from the skin; coupled by cleaning with dirty water. Rather than changing the water, continuing with darkened water is probably moving the dirt rather than removing the dirt and oils.


Hereafter I will be using the term 'tile' to describe any of the hard services being installed. (As opposed to vinyl.) For instance - marble tiles, slate tiles, porcelain tiles, mosaic tiles, etc.

And almost all now come in varying sizes, colors, shapes and thicknesses. In time I will define their characteristics and MY opinion of each. I hope to show what each looks like, and describe why installers generally charge differently for different products.

My hope is that in time, it will help consumers make more intelligent decisions when they shop for floor and wall coverings after seeing these posts.

Hiring installers

Now that credentials are out of the way, a word about hiring installers. In Arizona the law demands that any tile job where the materials and labor exceed $1000 per project, a license is required. But it makes good sense to hire a licensed contractor as well.

Aside from an indication of experience, and credibility, licensed contractors are often less expensive, especially in the long run. Should a problem arise, there is a recourse before a lawsuit.

Too often unlicensed contractors can do inferior work or no work at all, and the consumer has no means to recover what has been paid out. Either for materials or poor workmanship. The Registrar of Contractors is an agency set up to protect the consumer from unscrupulous Contractors.


And then I would like to list some of the places that I have installed these various products:

All types of hard flooring - inside and outside, patios and roofs,

Tubslplashes, Counters,
Vanities, Backsplashes,
Fireplaces, Showers,
Spas, Wainscoats,
Walls, Ceilings,
Tables, Benches,

Repair and replacement of individual tiles - to name some.


To begin with, and suggest authority on the subject, I will list various products I have installed over the years:

Ceramic tile, Porcelain tile, Saltillo tile,
Travertine , Marble, Slate,
Flagstone, Glass tile, Quarry tile,
Pavers, Mosaics, Tumbled products,
Granite, Hand-painted Murals,
Cantera Stone , Concrete Tiles, Plastic tile

And others in variation.


This will be an ONGOING feature. Upfront it is intended to share what I know about my field acquired over 35 years in the trade. Especially it is MY thoughts, in MY words. Hopefully no technical jargon but bits and pieces of what I tend to share and have shared with my customers about everything related to my business.

Advice from Ceramic Tile Expert John J. Sullivan

John J. Sullivan will be providing expert advice for homeowners and others interested in ceramic tile care, cleaning, installation, selection and more.

John Sullivan is an Arizona ceramic tile contractor who has been doing ceramic tile flooring installations for thirty+ years, he is licensed, bonded, and insured and does a fantastic job. He has installed tile in numerous restaurants, office complexes, and homes. His work now is limited to residential installations. Primarily remodel, but also new homes.