Q: Can installed tile raise the value of my home?
A: Yes. The National Association of Home Builders has found that the quality and style of the kitchen significantly impacts the value of a home. With little effort tile greatly enhances the appearance and practicality of the kitchen. Floors, countertops, and backsplashes are great tile additions to any kitchen. Similarly, bathrooms, foyers, laundry rooms all have a great appeal when quality tile is installed.

Q: Why do I need a custom tile installer to install my tile?
A: Custom tile installers are masterfully trained in the art of tile installation. They are the professionals who beautify your home and office by skillfully installing tile on floors and walls in kitchens, hallways, foyers, patios, laundry rooms, bathrooms, around swimming pools, and in other location where it is useful to have a durable, water-resistant, easy-to-clean surface. They have seasoned experience on the installation of a variety of tile materials including ceramic tile, porcelain, slate, granite, limestone, onyx, glass and marble.

Q: Is there a way to reuse tile without damaging it?
A: To try to reuse a ceramic tile that was installed well is probably not practical. If you try to chisel or cut it out, it's likely to chip or break up into pieces. For historic tile where there is more value and more money available, it's possible to saw deeply around sections of the floor and remove the substrate with the tile.

Q: What is an acceptable variance in the color of ceramic tile?
A: Ceramic tile typically varies in color to some degree. Some ceramic tile offerings intentionally give you a wide range of color variation. Others are intended to give more of a monochromatic (solid) look. Make sure you see enough pieces of the tile to represent the full range of color prior to making your selection! Ceramic tile also varies from each manufactured run, as well as within the same manufactured run. The manufacturer that wants to offer a limited range of color will sort the manufactured runs out in shade lots (this is what some refer to as "dye lot" with other types of materials). Don’t mix different shades unless you intentionally want to create a specific "look" and then make sure you mix them randomly! Size also varies from batch to batch, so watch out for that as well! Note: Trying to match an existing tile can be almost impossible. It is difficult to match from one manufactured run to the next and even more difficult after years have passed, if it is still available. The natural raw material used to make ceramic tile changes as the location of the source in the quarry changes, so that causes the end product to change to some degree.

Q. How many tiles do I need?
A: Tiles are usually sold by the square foot, so the area to be tiled needs to be carefully measured to establish how many square feet are involved. This can be done by your architect, builder or preferably your tile setter. Note that there is always a degree of “wastage” resulting from the cuts required to achieve your tile layout. The contingency allowance for wastage is best estimated by your tile setter, but is typically between +5% and +15%, depending on the tiles being used and the complexity of the particular design and layout. Also, consider that it is always wise to keep several spare tiles just in case replacements are required at a later date.

Q: My grout's cracking! What's happening? Can I just replace it?
A: Any time tile or grout cracks, it's a SYMPTOM, not a problem, and just repairing the tile or the grout will not take care of it. Until the REAL problem is found and rectified, the same tile or area of grout will continue to crack, no matter how many times you replace it. 99% of the time, it can be attributed to seasonal movement in the structure, either under, or surrounding the tile in question, and the tile needs to be isolated from that movement. Sometimes it can be as simple a fix as adding soft (caulk) joints. Other times, it may be necessary to either add joisting, or beef up the existing joisting to minimize the deflection of the floor. What the fix is depends on the individual problem, but in all cases, again, the problem has to be identified and resolved before the cracking will stop.

Q: What is the difference between sanded and unsanded tile grout?
A: Unsanded tile grout is used on ceramic tile that has been installed with a grout joint width of less than 1/8 of an inch wide and should always be used on polished natural stone products. Sanded tile grout is used on tile with a grout joint width equal to or greater than 1/8 of an inch.

Q. How can I get a FREE Estimate?
A: Get your FREE Estimate from by calling Ken’s Custom Tile, North Jersey’s Custom Tile Specialist, at 973-633-7785.

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