Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers


Craftsmanship – out of style? Not to us.

We are in the process of tearing out and re-doing a very nice couple’s steam shower. The tile work they had was horrific, the ‘waterproofing’ was non-existent, the framing was a joke, and the ‘finished’ product leaked all over their house. It wasn’t our work – it was the work of someone who claimed to be a ‘contractor’ and who has taken advantage of these unsuspecting homeowners.

This was one of the worst excuses for construction we’ve seen in a while. (Though last week’s shower with 8 nails through the pan liner was bad too!!)

There’s no way this ’tile installer’ thought he was doing a sufficient job for these folks– he stuck cardboard in behind tile as a ‘filler’ in one area of the shower! Yet, he was recommended to this couple by a plumbing manufacturer, so they thought they were hiring someone who would do a good job.

He didn’t; and he’s doing his best to give our industry a black eye. But, to this couple’s credit, they realize he is an exception, and they’ve maintained a positive attitude meeting their adversity by educating themselves. Before they signed on with us to tear out and re-tile their steam shower, they got references, researched the products we suggested, and even came by a steam shower installation in progress to see our guys at work.

Good for them! When you’re not in the construction business, it’s hard to know where to start to find a reputable and experienced craftsman. Certainly, referrals are a good resource, as is doing some research on-line. Other valuable places to get information on potential contractors are their trade associations (ours is National Tile Contractors Association); a certification body (for us its Ceramic Tile Education Foundation); the local Home Builders Association; local business groups; and other people in similar fields. Your money and your home are too precious to entrust to someone who would stick tile to cardboard.

We wish we had met this couple before their bad experience started, and we’re doing our best to create the steam shower they had in mind when this project started many months ago.

In the meantime, we’ll keep reminding everyone how important it is to find a reputable and experienced contractor who will stand behind their work. (Longevity in the business DOES matter, especially in today’s economy.) If you have any suggestions on where else we should be spreading the word, feel free to share.

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Tile installation takes math & creativity

We seem to be making lots of circles lately – and, with square tiles, that’s a pretty big accomplishment 😉

When you were in school, you probably wondered if you’d ever use what you learned in math class. Most people don’t need a compass or protractor to accomplish daily tasks, but our profession is based on measurements, fractions, and geometry (with some chemistry and physics thrown in, of course).

It takes skilled craftsmen to install these works of artistry, but behind-the-scenes we’re often using colored pencils and protractors to prep for the laser lines and configurations used on the actual job site.

Detailed measurements and certified installers combine to create beautiful symmetry.

A recent photo of our work on the front page of the local newspaper featured mosaic tiles with concentric metal rings that we fashioned from regular square edging.  And, after we made a circular pattern with changing-colored tiles, an architect wrote to tell us,

“the floor tile in the lobby is some of the best work I’ve seen in a while. The circles are very close to perfect. The arches are cut in nicely, the joints are very good. It’s just a good neat job.”

Geometry & tile artistry make this lobby a work of art.

And, we even won a national award for a combination of tile and marble circles that we formulated to fill the first floor of a commercial space. Good thing we still remember how to use that compass and string from math class all those years ago!

Whether it be in circles or squares, we love a long-lasting and beautiful tile installation.  And, no matter what– it takes math to get there.