Avoid Spooky Tile Situations with Advice from AC's Customer Service Team
October 31, 2018
Don't let tile mistakes haunt your home renovation. With expert advice from Architectural Ceramic's Customer Service team, you can be prepared throughout your tile purchase and renovation. Whether you're an architect, interior designer, or a DIY homeowner, we'll help you avoid spooky tile situations.
Our CS team knows its ways around the block. It takes a lot to scare us. Here, Customer Service Manager, Eliza Chan, and her team let you in on their tips and tricks to treat yourself to a better tile buying and renovating experience.
Educate Yourself About Your Options
Depending on the type of renovation, not all tile materials are appropriate for all applications. If tackling an exterior patio, for example, check the tile's rating to be sure it works in an outdoor environment. Does it make the grade?
"Tiles are rated for use in different locations," an AC Customer Service team member points out, "Check if your tile is rated for outdoor use, like freeze-thaw conditions or submerged wet areas, before selecting it for your project."
AC offers free design consultations in our showrooms.
Typically, each tile collection's catalog or data sheet will include a rating. Turn to the last page, and you'll find most porcelains are rated for floor use, while some ceramic tiles are only suitable for wall use. The term Rating is often replaced by Application.
When turning to Architectural Ceramics, our name let's you know we're a tile company. From ceramic to porcelain, and glass to natural stone, AC offers a variety of tile materials. Our website allows you to browse our products and data sheets. But, our showroom sales associates and designers are also an amazing resource, who offer free design consultations to help you navigate your tile material and renovation options.
To request an appointment in one of our five DC-metro area locations, visit the Contact Us page of our website.
We can't stress this enough. It's important to use samples, before and after you place your order, to know what to expect of your tile material:
Before Placing Your Order
To take the stress out of the tile selection process, take one or two of our tiles home with you to try it in your space. The lighting in our showroom is going to be different than the overhead or natural lighting in your own home.
If You Like It A Lot
You tested out a sample from one of our showrooms, and you made your tile purchase. Now's the time to order a current lot sample from the square footage of tile you just purchased. Whether your tile material is in stock with Architectural Ceramics, or a special order option from one of our vendors, we'll provide you with samples from your order.
Especially when dealing with natural stone, getting a few square feet from your order to see how it looks in your home is a great way to know what kind of veining and color variation to expect. It's also helpful to show your contractor, so he knows what he's dealing with and how you'd like the material to be installed.
Once your tile material is delivered to your home, inspect your material. Architectural Ceramics allows 24-hours for material to be exchanged due to possible damage.
"Inspecting material once a customer receives it is always recommended," Chan advises, "We should remind our customer not to schedule any contractors or installers until they have physically received their entire order and have inspected it."
Inspecting a handmade crackle glaze arabesque mosaic, sheet by sheet.
This doesn't mean don't select a contractor for your project until you've received your material. The sooner you involve a contractor, the better. They can help you calculate the square footage needed for the project. We suggest not booking your installation on their calendar until you know for sure your material has been well-received and looks like what you expected.
After you receive and inspect your tile material on the job site, have your contractor or installer do a dry layout. This is especially important when working with natural stone. A dry layout means mixing the boxes and blending the lighter and darker tiles together before installing them. Doing so prevents an installation where all the dark or light pieces are in one area.
A dry layout also applies to how you'd like the material to be installed, like using a half-offset or a herringbone pattern. It allows for the installer to plan tricky cuts or where to start the installation, like at the edge or the center of a design.
There's nothing worse than your installer coming to you with bad news: you're short on tile. Aright, there is something worse: going to order more, only to find out that the lot you need is sold out.
Cutting a large-format porcelain tile on a diagonal.
Eliminate the chances of bogus, hocus-pocus setbacks: order extra tile. It's typical to order ten percent overage, to give your contractor a cutting allowance. Depending on the tile pattern, it's also not uncommon to order 20% or more in extra material. Talk with your AC sales associate and your contractor or installer to determine how much overage is appropriate for your renovation.
Congrats! Your tile purchase and renovation went smoothly. Now what? Don't forget to properly care for and maintain your tile installation. Whether your tile is high or low maintenance, depends on the tile itself. Porcelains, for example, are low-maintenance tiles that once installed, required little to no care. This is because they are non-porous and stain resistant.
Applying a sealant to an installed tile and grout.
Natural stones like travertine, limestone, slate and marble however, are of the high-maintenance tile variety. "If our client has installed any stone material," Chan suggests, 'it is recommended that they seal it every six months to a year, depending on how heavy the traffic is for the area and how frequently it is used."