As we welcome a new year, we’re looking forward to increased opportunities and reflecting on a year of wonderfully creative tile installations. Thanks to the contractors, designers, and homeowners who included us on your projects!!!!! Here are just a few for your viewing pleasure:
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.
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!
The 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. We 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, 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. 🙂
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.
We had the fun of working a booth at our local Home Show last weekend, and wanted to share some common questions that visitors asked about their tile installations:
How do I clean my tile?
- Remove soil with a broom, non-oily dust mop or vacuum. Damp mop or spot-clean using CLEAN, warm water or water and a pH neutral tile cleaner.
- Avoid all products containing bleach or acids, as they can weaken the grout (opening the pores & causing it to get dirtier more quickly).
- Always rinse thoroughly with CLEAN, warm water and allow to dry. When mopping, change rinse water often.
- Shower tile looks its best when you remove excess water with a squeegee after each use and run the exhaust fan for at least 20 minutes after a shower.
- Tile distributors sell cleaning products developed specifically for tile and stone. These specialized cleaning products generally outperform products available from large retailers.
- For stubborn grout stains, agitate with a fiber or nylon-type scrubbing pad and a higher concentration of the pH neutral cleaning solution.
2) Should I seal my tile?
- Many newer, high-performance grouts have a built in sealant. Ask your tile installer about the brand and type used. (Neuse Tile routinely uses high-performance grouts.)
- While not a part of a base-level tile installation, sealers can be applied to further protect your investment. Sealers should be applied to cement-based grouts when the installation is thoroughly dry and after the initial grouting has cured at least two weeks.
- Sealing may be necessary for natural stones and tiles like quarry and saltillo. Ask your tile distributor if your specific tile requires sealing, stripping, and resealing periodically
3) What to do with the ‘crack’ between tile and counter or tub?
The joint between the tub and tile wall and the counter-top and tile splash have the potential to separate with seasonal changes. As a house settles or the tub flexes, the grout in these joints may periodically crack. If this happens, remove the old grout with a sharp-pointed tool. (Be careful not to chip tile or tub.) Dry the joint thoroughly, and fill with silicone sealant, available in tubes at hardware stores and in matching colors at most tile distributors. Broken or damaged tiles should be removed and replaced only by a reputable tile installer.
We are glad to be a resource for our customers and our community. And it’s just fun to #TalkTile.
It takes a team — to win a national championship, to complete a successful construction project, and to get your tile installed correctly.
It was a great project for the Neuse Tile team, of course, but, as good as they are, it takes more than just our skilled craftsmen to make it happen. Our behind-the-scenes team members monitor every detail of estimating, ordering, warehousing, scheduling, supervising, and accounting. And, with a project like this one that’s happening at a rapid pace, with strict parameters, and involving a variety of types of installation, there are also representatives from mortar manufacturers, tile suppliers, and industry specifiers ready to help. (The accumulation of years of industry experience and lots of shared industry knowledge help, too 🙂
We appreciate the hard work of all members of the tile team, as well as the UNC facility staff, the Architects at Corley Redfoot, and the design professionals in the Kansas City office of HOK. And a particular thank you to General Contractor, Vision Contractors Inc. for including us in this truly championship locker room!
Juan Sauceda, our lead superintendent, is the featured Certified Tile Installer in the current blog by Ceramic Tile Education Foundation! He’s been with our team since 2002, and we love the artistry and craftsmanship he brings to every project.
Take a few minutes to read about Juan and his credentials. He’ll take great care of your next project! https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/blog/certification-greater-efficiency-setting-tile