Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers


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The many layers of a tile sandwich

The common denominator in our installations is that the products on the top layer are rigid — they don’t flex or bend. And the factors beyond that are as varied as all the possible sandwich combinations in a New York deli.

Each project is as different as the location to be tiled, the material, the substrate, and the customer’s preferences. We enjoy the challenge of making sure we’ve selected the proper tile installation method and products to accommodate your surface, your application, your needs for the space, and the material you’d like us to install. porch floor wall.jpg

Some of the things we’ll be factoring into our estimates (and our conversations) are:

  • Floor deflection (the up and down movement of a floor should not exceed L/360 for tile and L/720 for natural stone)
  • Floor preparation (remove any existing adhesives, flatten problem areas by bringing substrate into required tolerances, scarify if needed)
  • Needed coverage (required mortar contact on the back of tile in a dry area 80%; wet area 95%)
  • Grout color and its impact on setting materials as well as end results (highly contrasting grouts can present a visual framing on some sheeted materials)
  • Sealant needed prior to installation to protect the material from any staining during the grouting process (natural stones must be sealed prior to grout due to their susceptibility to staining)
  • The size of the material to be installed (any tile more than 15” in any one direction is considered ‘large format’ and requires different mortars and substrate tolerances
  • Composition of the tile itself (stone, glass, metal, sheeted mosaics, and accents with combinations of these –all require different setting materials, blades, tools, and care)
  • Trowel and spacer type and size (tile, mortar, pattern, installer preference all factor in here)
  • Movement joint locations and treatment (to allow for the movement that occurs as structures expand and contract)
  • Pattern selected and its impact on installation waste factor as well as installation difficulty
  • Job location – what it takes to get our heavy materials into the area, what hours we can work, how much protection of adjoining areas we’ll need to do, etc.
  • Wet area/ interior or exterior/ angle of lighting/ long-term use & traffic in the area
  • Base surface to be used (mud-set, backer board, membrane, etc.)

Those in our industry who tell you they can give you a ‘quick’ price per square foot for tile installation are either clairvoyant walking encyclopedias of construction, or they haven’t thought about all the factors that make up a long-lasting and beautiful tile installation. Most of the time, the best and most accurate things come to those who put some experience and careful consideration into all the options available. #ExperienceMatters #NTCAfivestar


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Celebrating women in construction

Last week was Women in Construction week in NC. The Governor and the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses  issued a proclamation in celebration, “to support and honor women in the construction industry across our state and nation.” They recognized “women as visible components in construction” and sought to raise “awareness of the career opportunities available for women in the construction field and emphasizing the growing role of women in the industry.”
We’re not totally certain what a “visible component in construction” might be, but we’re very glad to celebrate the women who work in the tile industry. We have good women friends who are Certified Tile Installers, who design and make fantastic mosaic creations, and who install tile with precision and technical proficiency every day. Many long-time tile setters in our industry will tell you that some of the best tile people they’ve ever worked with have been women. They are often known as more attentive to detail, patient with customers, and better able to juggle multiple aspects of a job at once. Like others with a bent toward trade-specific careers, women can find many excellent opportunities in tile.
Neuse Tile is a woman-owned business, and we believe that women make vital contributions to every aspect of a construction company. We join the governor and his administration in celebrating the growing role of women in construction and the fantastic future that awaits women in the tile profession. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about a future career in tile, let’s talk.


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Exterior tile that lasts on your deck or porch

As the weather is getting warmer, more people are thinking about exterior projects. We’ve done a lot of porches and decks that last beautifully — and we’ve re-done many that were done incorrectly by others. Uncovered, exterior decks with tile are some of the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmost difficult installations in our industry. They require many different components of an integrated system to make them perform correctly.

Uncovered decks can have very broad thermal (temperature) swings that far surpass the high and low reported temperatures of the day. As a result, these installations have to be designed to move with this expansion and contraction.

The key components of this type of installation are:
1) movement joints
2) prevention of water intrusion (waterproofing)
3) flashing at dissimilar surfaces
4) 95% mortar coverage on the back of the tile to ensure the tiles are
well bonded

Some less-knowledgeable installers might suggest that epoxy grout will help prevent future grout cracking, but the type of grout will not determine the success or failure of any system’s performance. Movement joints are far more important, and, if they are not present, the system will most likely fail regardless of the type of grout used.

Make sure your exterior improvements last through many future seasons by investing in a tile contractor with the experience and knowledge to perform a long-lasting installation.


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Neuse Tile’s community connection

Working with family, reasons to use tile, weathering a difficult economy, opportunities in the industry & advances in grout — all covered in this recent Podcast by the Wake Forest Chamber featuring Nyle and Paige from Neuse Tile! Podcast photo 3-18

We love being part of our community and have always continued the Chamber connection that Dad so passionately supported. Thank you Ann & the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce for asking great questions and including us in your series –we enjoyed it!

If you want to get to know us better, here’s your chance 🤣

Follow the Podcast link: https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/150417/53773281” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>clicking here.


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Doing the right thing for the long-term

It’s been a personally challenging year for many of us in the Neuse Tile family, and we’d like to take this opportunity to say how much we appreciate your business, your loyalty, your kindness, and your encouragement. wreath on door

We’ve been blessed once again with miles of tile that needed our installation expertise and with gifted artisans who deliver on each and every project. From estimating, to scheduling, to supervision and installation, the intricacies of each tile project are unique and varied. It truly takes a team with technical know-how, craftsmanship, and flexibility to meet the many expectations we face each week, and we are grateful for every member of our group!

Of course, we are especially appreciative of the contractor friends and homeowners who have trusted us with their tile needs this year! It is significant to us that we’re in our 53rd year of business, and we believe our longevity is, in large part, due to a commitment to do the right thing with a view toward the long-term. We plan to keep that up!

We lean into 2018 excited about how our industry is growing together and looking forward to continued opportunities to bring quality tile installations to the Triangle.  Let us know how we can be of help to you!

 


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Parading the possibilities of last-minute construction

Subway tile with styleThe Parade of Homes sometimes brings out our hidden talents as 2nd story men, parking attendants, and temporary tile magicians. Every year, local home builders showcase their talents, and those of their subcontractors, as they open newly ‘completed’ projects to the public for 3 weekends of touring.

The dates aren’t a surprise, but construction schedules compress, and changes happen, so it always seems there’s a rush to meet the deadline for upcoming Parade entries. WHandmade tile on vent hoode do love working with our builders, so we go to great lengths to help them meet their goals.

We’ve gone up and down a ladder to grout a second-story floor while hardwoods were being finished downstairs, joined other trades to jam 50 work trucks in one cul-de-sac, and worked late nights redoing more than one design because of actual site conditions. And, we’re certain other trade contractors have plenty of similar stories.

So,Bath tile feature in honor of this year’s Parade, we’re sharing these photos to celebrate the impossible achieved on so many beautiful projects again this year! Go out and visit some Parade homes and feel free to offer a cup of coffee to any tired-looking contractors you see on-site.  🙂


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Hiring a tile installer

Every week we get calls from folks who have hired a tile layer who has or is causing them heartburn. Sometimes the job is current and sometimes it’s weeks or months later. Either way, the consumer is dealing with an installation that is less than the best that our industry can offer.

We love to help people, but we’d love it even more if people’s experiences with tile installers were positive and long-lasting from the start.  We have some tips for hiring a tile installer on our website, and we’re working with a group of industry leaders to come up with a list of general questions that customers might ask a potential tile installer. We thought we’d put them out for you to give us some feedback on what we have so far:

  • Will they document their commitment to quality?
  • Are their methods & standards verified by the TCNA Handbook?
  • How will they control site conditions?
  • How will they properly prepare the surface before tiling?
  • Where will movement occur (expansion/contraction)?
  • Will they provide references of similar, successful installations?
  • What is their warranty on labor and setting materials?
  • Do they participate in industry conferences and continuing education?
  • How are their employees trained and kept up-to-date on products and methods?

We like to say that “Tile won’t bend to make up for a bad installation” so it’s essential that you hire your tile contractor carefully. We certainly hope asking the right questions will help consumers be more informed BEFORE they hire their next installer. Let us know if you think of other things we should add to our list.