One great feature of tile is that it can be maintained with clean water and a microfiber cloth. If you’re resolving to ‘go green’ in the new year, our Certified Green Cleaning Specialist makes these suggestions for occasional cleaning:
–Liquid Castile Soap — derived mostly from plant-based oils. Add 1 part soap to 4 parts warm water for normal cleaning. This is a good all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. Apply soap solution with a microfiber cloth, then rinse with clean water.
— Hydrogen Peroxide 3% solution — will remove stains, disinfect, and treat some mold. Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 warm water. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Use caution with colored grout as peroxide is a natural bleach. Wet surfaces prior to application.
— Borax -commonly found in the detergent aisle at the grocery store, this can be used as a scouring powder and odor neutralizer. Dilute 1/4 cup of Borax in a gallon of water to clean hard surfaces. Rinse with a clean cloth.
— Microfiber cloth – Uses thousands of tiny scrubbing surfaces to pick up grime, grit, and grease.
Be sure to test any new cleaner in an inconspicuous area first.
In the spirit of offering helpful tips to our readers — here’s our new Christmas favorite — make your own peppermint bark (yummmm!)
Get 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 12 oz white chocolate chips and 4-5 peppermint candy canes crushed. Put wax paper on a cookie sheet and follow the instructions below.
In a microwave safe bowl, add 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil to the chocolate chips and heat them in the microwave for about 1 minute to 1 minute and 20 seconds on high. Stir and pour the liquid chocolate into a thin layer on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle peppermint flakes all over the chocolate. Quickly go ahead and add 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil to the white chocolate and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute to 1 minute 20 seconds (careful not to overheat as it will burn).
Stir and pour the white chocolate over the first layer and use a spatula to spread thin. Sprinkle more peppermint on top and refrigerate for several hours. When the bark is hard, cut into bite sized pieces and enjoy!!!!
Merry Christmas and may next year hold promise for us all!
One of the most frequent points of concern for our customers is tile’s ability, or inability, to keep water contained. Tile may slow down water penetration, but the grout joints in between tiles are made from cementitious materials which do absorb water.
In most of our state the plumber is required to install the rubberized pan/ vinyl material that keeps a shower from leaking to the subfloor below. Tile installers work on top of the pan, and any water that seeps through grout joints is, in a proper installation, directed to the weep holes of the drain flange.
The walls of a correctly installed shower are lined with tile backerboard which overlaps the pan material, deflects water, and directs it down to the drain.
ANSI approved tile backerboard is the preferred substrate for tile in a residential shower because it deters water absorption. Sheetrock and ‘greenboard’ will wick water like a sponge, and they are not approved surfaces on which to install tile in wet areas.
New trowel-able waterproofings are available to offer additional protection for seats and steam showers, but, in a standard shower, it’s the pan material that is actually the only ‘waterproofing’ component of the complex water management system.
In 1964, our dad and uncle ran Neuse Tile out of the garage of our family’s home. They had a good friend who was a tile craftsman, and they used their business savvy to help him create a framework for his skills to be utilized.
The early days were all about 4×4 white, sky blue, olive green, gold and pink tiles. Ceramic tile was the ‘low-end’ product installed in housing projects and hotels because of its durability. Everything was ‘mud-set’ (tile adhered with concrete and metal mesh sheets). It was hard work, and would last virtually forever.
When a major tornado came through Raleigh in the 80’s, we saw a house where the only thing left standing was the olive-green mud-set shower. Dad enjoyed riding through Raleigh and pointing out all the places ‘we did the tile.’ My brother’s kids will have that same memory one day 🙂
With more than 46 years in the ceramic tile installation business, we’ve learned a thing or two that do-it-yourself TV might leave out. We decided to use this blog as a way to educate, inform, and promote all things tile.
In the short-run we certainly hope our business benefits from more people who find us and hire us, but, in the long run we also want to share some of the information we have that will help people make better decisions and hire more qualified contractors.
It isn’t as easy as thay make it look on TV, and when you’re investing your time and money, you want it to last and look good. Our posts are to help you understand the world of tile and develop an appreciation for the true experts and craftsmen of the trade.