Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers


Leave a comment

What do you need to know about tile?

This is the 2nd blog from our magazine interview installment:

What do you wish people knew about tile?

   Television shows might make you think that installing tile is an easy weekend project, but we see first-hand the failures that result from using less-than-qualified tile people.

Tile doesn’t bend, adjust or flex to mask a corner that’s out of line or a slight bump in the underlayment. Therefore, tile installers have to be exacting and precise. Obvious poor cuts and bad layouts aside, what’s under the tile is even more important. If the wrong product is used to “flatten” a floor, it will show up eventually as the tile begins to crack or crunch as you walk on it. And, when you add water to the equation in a bathroom, the need to choose a qualified installer is even more essential.

In a year’s time, far more water runs across the tile in your shower than over the roof of your home, so the people you hire to do your tile (and your roof ;) should really know what they’re doing. Proper tile installation is actually pretty complicated (with its precision layout, intricate cuts, specialized tools, variety of setting materials, water management issues, and the hundreds of methods), so we make sure our folks are up-to-date and well-trained. {And, as an aside, we don’t believe that our tile training makes someone good at carpet or vinyl installation. We just don’t understand why general ‘flooring’ contractors would say the same crews could install all kinds of materials…}

Look for a certified TILE contractor next time you’re considering a tile installation. The money you invest in getting it done right will be money you don’t have to spend getting it re-done later.


Leave a comment

Why use tile?

We were recently interviewed by NC Homes magazine, and we thought we’d share our responses with you as a series of blog entries.

Why select tile?

Tile is an extremely practical material and a designer favorite because of its many possibilities. We think tile is great because it’s:

-Durable – Tile is among the longest lasting flooring materials. When you consider the length of time that tile will last versus the initial cost of installation, tile is the least expensive flooring material available.

-Easy to maintain – Most tiles can be cleaned with warm water and a damp mop. No harsh chemicals or complicated cleaning regimen are needed to keep tile looking beautiful. A recent industry study indicated that tile is the least expensive, long-term option when considering maintenance and the long life of tile.

-Beautiful & versatile – The options in tile are incredibly varied, and there is something to suit every person’s design style. Popular looks include rectangular or plank tiles, larger tiles (bigger than 15”), wood-look tiles, and textured tiles. The introduction of high-resolution printing on tile makes it possible to replicate the appearance of stone, fabric, wood, and cement.

-Inert – Tile is made from naturally occurring materials, and emits no toxic odors or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Most of the materials used to set tile today also incorporate recycled materials and produce no VOCs.

-Healthy – When tile is installed properly, it provides a safe, clean, and beautiful space for many years. Because tile is inert, it does not contribute to indoor air pollution, and you won’t have to use harmful cleaning chemicals to keep it looking clean and beautiful.


Leave a comment

Dedicated to customers and quality work- is that enough?

50 years! Many things have changed in our world since Neuse Tile started in 1964, but our dedication to customers and to jobs done right has not. It may seem silly and ‘old fashioned,’ but we really think it matters that we treat customers with respect and provide them quality, long-lasting installations.

We don’t offer flashy deals or gimmicks, we just provide a dependable service at a fair price. This month that hasn’t been enough to bring in many customers, so we thought we’d use this blog to tell you a little more about ourselves.

We are a second-generation, family-owned company. We got into this because it was the ‘family thing,’ but we’ve stayed in it because we think you should be able to get quality work done right the first time. We specialize in tile and stone installations because they are unique, technically challenging, and complicated enough to require our full attention. We stand behind our work and up-front give you complete pricing that includes the tile, setting materials, and labor, as well as our extended warranty service. Surprise “change orders” are not our style.

Our superintendent and president closely monitor our installers to ensure the quality of the work, and most of our team members have been with us for more than 10 years. We are passionate about correct tile installations and want you to be confident that your project will last.

Tile installation is a craft and an art, but it has also become an increasingly complex industry with ever-evolving techniques and scientifically advanced materials. We are unique in our area in that we are active members of our national trade organizations and have Ceramic Tile Education Foundation certified installers on staff. We are the only National Tile Contractors Association Five-Star residential contractor in the state. Hopefully, those credentials provide reassurance that we have the knowledge needed to do your installation properly and run our business professionally.

We also offer a lifetime warranty on the underlayment product we use as well as a 25-year system warranty through one of our mortar manufacturers. Because of our longevity in the tile industry, we’re usually able to purchase our quality installation products at volume discounts, and we pass those on to you.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about us. We realize you have a choice in tile contractors, and hope that you will choose us to create your beautiful and long-lasting installation. We’d like to be here to serve you for another 50 years!


2 Comments

Why use a general contractor?

Just to be clear from the start: we love working with homeowners! Information sharing is one of our very favorite things, so the education process of helping someone prepare for a tile installation is usually great fun for us. When your project is mostly cosmetic, and you have the patience to coordinate (or do) some or all the trades involved, then serving as your own contractor can be a great option.

However, when your project involves moving multiple plumbing fixtures, re-routing water, or relocating walls, you’re absolutely going to get the best result when you hire a licensed, professional general contractor.

No matter how easy they make it look on television, construction (when it is done well) is a very specialized and knowledge-based profession. The parts and pieces that go into a project are innumerable, and the details needed to get a project finished on-time (or even close) are voluminous.

When chatting with one of our contractor friends recently, we came up with the following list of why we think using a general contractor is a good thing:

  • Their industry knowledge (licensing, testing, and continuing education)
  • Up-to-date on codes/ materials/ techniques
  • Established trade accounts for materials sourcing & contractor discounts (their established relationships)
  • Technical adaptability to unforeseen issues (what’s going on behind that wall?)
  • Design assistance (what has worked before as well as outside-the-box ideas)
  • Appraisal requirement (if you change the square footage of your house, you must get it permitted, or you will not be able to count that addition when you sell)
  • Connections with vendors and priority scheduling of work & deliveries
  • One point of contact and responsibility
  • They know the requirements for permitting, fees, restrictions, insurance, etc.
  • Warranty
  • Fewer headaches and less stress for you
  • The time and capacity to live your life during the remodel

Your home is your largest investment, so you want work done on it to last for a long time. Often that means hiring an industry specialist to get the job done right. We’d be glad to recommend some great, local general contractors to help with your next project!


Leave a comment

Qualified to talk tile in NJ & at home

Sometimes it takes an out-of-town audience to fully appreciate our hometown know-how. That was certainly the case for our own Nyle Wadford when he recently traveled to Dayton, NJ, to present a large-format tile seminar to an architectural and design community. 

3rd from left, Wadford presented NTCA seminar.

3rd from left, Wadford presented NTCA seminar.

The local American Olean & Marazzi USA distributor wanted a special guest to introduce their services to an important client base, and they asked Wadford to present an NTCA seminar on large tiles and participate in a discussion about qualified labor. The hosts and audience said the seminar was “informative and truly helpful,” and Nyle was glad to participate.

As a long-time tile contractor and Chairman of the Board of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Nyle is absolutely passionate about correct tile installations – whether in NC or NJ – he just loves talking tile!

The NTCA is an invaluable association for our industry, and, as a Five-Star Contractor, Neuse Tile is able to present its seminars for continuing education credits to the Architectural and Design communities. As NTCA’s 2012 Tile Person of the Year, Nyle is also quite well-known and respected by his peers in the industry (and throughout the country).

Neuse Tile has no plans to install tile in New Jersey, but the visit is helping open doors for the NTCA and furthering discussions about proper tile installations, so Nyle sees it as a worthwhile investment of time. And, sometimes it’s also nice to get that ‘out-of-town’ recognition as well.

Nyle is also the Vice Chairman of both the NTCA Technical Committee and the ANSI A108 Committee. Great job, Nyle!


Leave a comment

Builders rely on specialty subcontractors

Ours is not a glamorous profession. What we do involves lots of craftsmanship and behind-the-scenes know-how, some heavy-lifting, and, frequently, getting a little dirty. But we’re good at it, and we’ve made lots of functional spaces in the Triangle look a whole lot better because we were there.

Tile craftsmen at work

Tile craftsmen at work

That, in itself, is rewarding most days, but sometimes it’s also nice to be recognized by the people who use our services. The National Association of Home Builders recently published an article which highlighted subcontractors as, “an often over looked but essential part of the home building industry.”

Interesting facts in the article included that it takes, on average, 25 subcontractors to build a single-family detached house. About 71% of those employed in the home building industry are subcontractors.  (Total employment in the industry breaks down to 647,000 builders and 1.584 million residential specialty trade contractors.)

During the past 40 years the use of subcontractors has “significantly accelerated.” (Construction costs subcontracted in 2012 averaged 75% vs. 31% in 1959.) The diverse amenities offered in housing and the increasing complexities of each trade are cited as reasons for this shift. Code requirements are more complicated, materials used are more technically diverse, and the labor force is drastically different now than it was in 1959.

We have great appreciation for our general contractor customers. They must have a vast knowledge base and be planners, jugglers, and, sometimes, babysitters. They take big personal and financial risks, and their work is often unappreciated. The best ones know that it takes an amazing amount of teamwork to get a project completed. Having their respect and appreciation makes it easier for us to go the extra mile when needed. So, today we celebrate being one of the “often overlooked but essential,” and we get back to getting it done!


Leave a comment

Tile upside down, but not backwards

Neuse Tile is all about customer satisfaction, and we’ve often laughingly said, “we’ll install tile upside down and backwards” if that’s what the customer wants,” but, with this story, we’ll have to modify that when it comes to glass tile.

An out-of-state relative hired a local contractor to renovate their master bathroom. They went to their home show, interviewed prospective contractors, reviewed their references, and selected one that gave them great confidence. We went up to visit, gave them some tips on selecting the tile and some things to look for as the process moved along.

The first text message asking about the adhesive being used in the shower was a little concerning, but not all that unusual. We gave some online references and told him to hold firm with his general contractor that he expected the tile subcontractor to adhere to industry standards. paper-face done wrong-not NTS

However, the text which said “we were awakened at 2 a.m. by the sound of falling tiles” was startling. When we got on the phone and he began to describe the issues with his glass accent liner, we realized the tile setter who had been subcontracted to do the work had installed the glass backwards. Sometimes glass tiles are what we call ‘paper-faced’ meaning the factory rolls an adhesive paper over the front of the tile sheets (usually mosaics) before boxing and shipping. This keeps the individual pieces aligned (for the most part). The intent is for the exposed glass tiles (which sometimes have small holes in them to absorb some of the setting material) to be laid into the troweled mortar and then the adhesive paper peeled off before grouting. However, this tile guy had laid the paper-side of the sheet into the mortar and gone home for the day. As the mortar dried and the tiles broke free from the adhesive paper, the small glass mosaics dropped off one-by-one. Thus, glass tiles hitting a newly tiled shower floor at 2 a.m.

This was the last straw for our relative, and he insisted the contractor hire a different tile installer and re-do the job. When the new – and more qualified- tile installer came, he determined that the whole shower had to come out and be started over. The accent tiles were obviously an issue, but the shower pan had been sloped by doubling up sheets of backerboard- clearly not an industry-approved method!

After 9 weeks, our relatives now have a great, new master bath and further appreciation for all the technical know-how that goes into our everyday work. And, we’ve contacted our national association to see if they can do something about getting more certified tile contractors in that part of his state.

In the Triangle area, you are fortunate to have some well-qualified tile contractors to choose from. Know what’s under your tile – hire a professional and make sure your tile is installed right side out!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 162 other followers