Frequently Asked Questions
What is your return policy?
60 days to return or exchange qualified material.
Eligible tile(s) must be returned in full, factory-sealed cartons.
Special order item(s) cannot be cancelled, returned or exchanged.
Materials returned wet, with blue tape, thinset or scratches are not eligible for refund.
Restocking fee of 30% or $75 (whichever is less) will be applied to cancelled order(s) and/or item(s).
Refunds are issued to original credit card used.
No cash refunds in excess of $75. Company check will be mailed to customer.
How do I clean and maintain my tile?
Ceramic tile is one of the most durable and maintenance friendly surfaces you can choose for your walls, floors, countertops, etc. With proper care & minimum maintenance, it will retain its original beauty and luster for many years. Generally, all that is necessary to keep your tile looking as good as new is a quick wipe with a clean damp cloth or mop. Prompt cleanup of spills and regular cleaning will keep your ceramic tile surfaces looking their best.
If a cleaner is necessary, it's recommended to use low VOC (volatile organic compound), neutral pH, non-hazardous, and non-polluting products.
Glazed tile walls in your home will easily keep their lovely look with simple routine care, just wipe regularly with a clean damp cloth or sponge. A non-abrasive, neutral cleaner can be used (abrasive cleansers will cause scratching to shiny tile and polished marble surfaces). Highly polished tile and stone surfaces should be polished dry with a soft absorbent cloth after cleaning to eliminate the buildup of hard water residue and to maintain the high polished finish.
For glazed tile floors, sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and gritty particles. Follow with a mop or sponge dampened with a neutral pH cleaner. If a cleaner is used, be sure the surface is rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried. For textured or uneven tile or stone surfaces, substituting a soft scrub brush or white nylon scrub pad for the mop or sponge will quicken the cleaning process. Unglazed tile floors and porcelain tile floors can also be maintained in this same manner.
Tiled surfaces in your bathroom may require a more thorough routine cleaning because of a build-up of soap scum, body oils or hard-water stains. Use a clean, damp cloth, or sponge with a neutral pH cleaner, allowing it to stand about five minutes before rinsing and drying. Specialty bathroom cleaners may also be used (always test first). Clean shower regularly with the appropriate tile and stone cleaner. Dry with a towel after each use and leave curtain or door open between showers to allow for maximum ventilation and moisture escape.
How do I clean and maintain my Schluter profiles?
The Schluter profiles require no special maintenance or care and is resistant to mold and fungi. Clean profiles periodically using neutral cleaning agents. Stainless steel surfaces exposed to the environment or aggressive substances should be cleaned periodically using a neutral cleaner. Regular cleaning maintains the neat appearance of stainless steel and reduces the risk of corrosion. Avoid the use of strong acids (e.g. hydrochloric or hydrofluoric) and base/alkaline cleaners (e.g. bleach, ammonia, chlorides). Do not use abrasive cleaning agents and tools. Stainless steel surfaces develop a sheen when treated with a chrome-polishing agent. Oxidation films on exposed solid brass or aluminum may be removed with a common polishing agent but will form again. In the case of chrome plated brass, anodized aluminum, and color coated aluminum and textured color-coated aluminum, do not use abrasive cleaning agents.
What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tile?
The major difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile is how it's made. Both tiles are made from a clay mixture that's fired in a kiln, but porcelain tile is made from more refined clay and it's fired at higher temperatures. This makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile. In our showroom, ceramic tiles are indicated as "wall" tiles.
Ceramic tile is usually created by mixing a base of clay with different types of minerals and water. A stoneware clay body will be fired at around 1,800-2,000°F and have water absorption between 0.5%-3.0%, with some even as high as 20%!
Porcelain tile on the other hand is made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and feldspar. Feldspar is a naturally occurring mineral in granite. The sand strengthens the mixture, while the feldspar melts, fusing together all the materials making the tile denser than a standard ceramic tile, thus stronger (30% stronger than granite!) and more stain resistant. Porcelain tile will be fired at a temperature up to 2,300°F. The higher firing temperature will drive out more water, and with the feldspar melting to form a low-order glass, the tile will be far more impervious. The American standards as set by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) for a porcelain product is that it must absorb less than or equal to 0.5% of water.
Do I need to seal my tile?
Porcelain is an incredibly versatile material, renowned for its stain resistance and durability. Unlike natural stone which is routinely sealed, porcelain often doesn’t require any protection – but this isn’t the case for all types of tile.
The glossy sheen of a polished tile is created as part of the manufacturing process and, as a result, micro-pores in the surface of the porcelain are opened up. This makes the surface more susceptible to staining. Some tiles are sealed as part of the manufacturing process, while others are left unfinished.
Most polished porcelain needs sealing. You can carry out a simple test on a spare/off cut tile by marking it with black pen, let it dry thoroughly. If the pen mark can be wiped off with a small amount of cleaner, then the tile is sealed and no further action is required.
Unlike porcelain, which is virtually impermeable, natural stone is full of microscopic pits & holes, called pores. Its porosity is what makes natural stone venerable to staining & discoloration. Sealer protects stone (and other porous materials) by repelling oil- and water-based liquids, thus preventing things like makeup, spaghetti sauce, and olive oil from soaking in & setting as a stain.
It is also important to note that sealer does not make stone completely impervious to staining, and while it does repel liquids, it is not intended to make your material waterproof. So even if your stone is well sealed, spills should still be cleaned as promptly as possible to minimize potential damage.