Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers

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Getting your money’s worth from tile

Our customers are making an investment in their property when they choose tile. It’s not necessarily the least expensive alternative; and it’s certainly not the easiest to install. But it is the most long-lasting and best investment.



A recent study commissioned by the Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA), determined that ceramic tile was the most economical of 12 floor coverings. An independent construction cost consulting firm compared various types of tile to 12 other floor finishes such as hardwood, laminate, concrete, stone, carpet, terrazzo, vinyl, and poured epoxy. Life Cycle Cost Analysis methodology was used to project all costs associated with each material: installation (labor, material, and normal costs), plus periodic maintenance expenses to preserve and maintain the project, as well as final costs to remove the floor covering at the end of its useful life.

Over time, ceramic tile was found to cost less per year than all the other floor coverings over the life of a structure. Glazed ceramic tile came in at 0.33 cents per square foot per year over 50 years, and porcelain and quarry tile at 0.36 cents per square foot per year. Products such as carpet and vinyl have significantly higher life cycle costs due to the shorter life span of these non-permanent finishes.

When you want beauty that lasts and makes the most sense for your investment – choose tile installed by your local qualified craftsmen!


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Ceramic tile is the healthy choice

Recent news reports about the health-impact of building materials are not a concern when you select ceramic tile. To summarize the science of tile’s environmental positives, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) released a bulletin yesterday highlighting tile’s attributes.

Ceramic Tile is: Natural choice as graphic

  • made from clay and naturally occurring minerals, so it’s free from formaldehyde, VOCs, and PVC.
  • fired at extremely high temperatures producing an inorganic material, so its Zero VOCs don’t contribute in any way to “sick building syndrome.”
  • formaldehyde-free, unlike other floor coverings which have been in the news recently for their possible adverse health effects.
  • free from PVC resin which is used in other floor coverings and is a subject of concern among health experts
  • available in thousands of choices that are slip-resistant when wet, and it’s not flammable.
  • the most cost-effective and best use of resources, with a 60-year service life — when installed properly.

Environmentally, “North American-made ceramic tile has the lowest environmental impact across all impact categories when compared to other flooring,” according to the TCNA bulletin which references the  UL-certified Environmental Product Declaration.

The bulletin was released yesterday at Coverings, the largest tile and stone expo in the United States with exhibitors from more than 40 countries. “More and more research is being done as people realize the long-term impact of various common chemicals in the built environment,” said TCNA scientist Dr. Jyothi Rangineni.


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Tile has lowest impact per foot – when installed properly

It’s Spring, and we’re enjoying getting outside after a very cold and wet winter. So, we thought it would be a good time to talk about the positive environmental impact of choosing tile for your project.

Ceramic tile has the lowest 60-year environmental impact per square foot across all categories that evaluate how the manufacture and use of a product will affect the well being of humans and our environment. This is made clear when comparing tile’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) alongside other materials.

Similar to a nutrition label for foods, EPDs for tile are now available for use by architects and specifiers seeking to satisfy green building project requirements such as those set by LEED and other green building standards. EPDs are reader friendly, comprehensive disclosure statements detailing the environmental impacts of tile made in North America. “In providing summarized data related to tile manufacturing and use – from the raw material extraction process to disposal of tile at the end of its life – the EPD focuses on the green building community’s top concerns, including energy and resource consumption and emissions to air, land and water,” according to Bill Griese, Green Initiative Manager for the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

The North American EPD was developed by TCNA and its participating members to respond to marketplace demands for transparency in construction materials and to give the design community the documentation they need.

“With the vast majority of tile produced in North America covered by the EPD, virtually all North American-made ceramic tile can contribute toward LEED and various other provisions in green standards, making it a powerful and useful tool for specifiers concerned with sustainable construction,” according to an article Griese wrote in TILE magazine, Jan/Feb. 2015.

The data aggregated to produce the EPD was provided by manufacturers: Arto, Crossville, Dal-Tile Corp., Florida Tile, Florim USA, Interceramic, Ironrock, Porcelanite Lamosa, Quarry Tile Co., StonePeak Ceramics, and Vitromex de Norteamerica. And, of course, all these manufacturers will tell you that tile is only truly Green if it’s installed by a qualified contractor who will make sure its installation is long-lasting!!

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New Green Tile Standard is the Sum of Parts

Tile containing recycled content or set with materials which emit no harmful odors meets the criteria to be called ‘green’ in some rating systems, but, if it’s manufactured overseas and brought here using a great amount of transportation energy, should it still be considered part of an environmentally friendly local-government building?

We’ve seen this scenario play out a few times in the past several years, and are always amazed that fabulous tiles manufactured within 500 miles of our location are not used on local ‘green’ projects. (Of course, we’re also flabbergasted by local projects that bring in contractors and subcontractors from other states, but that’s another blog topic.)

The point is that ‘green’ criteria to date have addressed individual components of a tile installation – the composition of the tile or setting material, the long-term durability of tile, the fact that tile doesn’t emit any VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), where it’s manufactured, or how the plant that makes it handles its water supply. Now, however, there’s a measurement standard which will encompass all aspects of ‘green.’ ANSI’s new Green Squared Standard (A138.1) is a “multi-attribute, total-system approach to sustainability.”

Within the standard, things like recycled material, life-cycle assessment, and re-use of post-life product are detailed. It’s complex and measured by independent certification laboratories so that the industry now has definite points of evaluation and end-users can determine which products are truly ‘green.’ With the Green Squared certification, customers will be able to see that they are choosing some of the most sustainable products on the market today.

‘Green’ features aren’t new to tile and stone, but this quantification of its positive attributes should help easily translate its viability to architectural specifiers and consumers. “Tile’s inherent durability, and the perpetuity of the natural materials out of which tiles are manufactured, have made ceramic tiles the natural choice for centuries,” states the 2012 TCNA Handbook.

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The Tile Market is On the Grow: Insights from Crossville’s Chairman Emeritus

Tile is outpacing the growth of alternative products in the floor covering industry. This interview with the ‘godfather of ceramic tile in the US’ gives some insight into the attributes that are sending tile to the top of the list for remodeling and commercial concerns: versatility, style, ‘green’ attributes, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Elevate Your Space

The tile market is on the rise in the United States, according to a recent report by John Baugh at Stifel Nicolaus. Svend Hovmand, Chairman Emeritus of Crossville, Inc., has some insight on what’s sparking this double-digit increase during an interview with

Tile already tops the market in Europe, South America and other countries. The ever-increasing rise of popularity in the US is naturally occurring thanks to several key factors.

Tile is versatile. Today’s remodeling market is relatively strong. Tile is a premium material selection that fits into remodeling budgets to provide the versatile, high-end style and durability today’s consumers demand.

Tile is evolving in style and appearance. Tile of today is more beautiful and authentic than ever before. Thanks to advancing technologies, the looks and colors that can be achieved are immense, offering fresh new options for a range of styles.

Tile is green. Sometimes industry pros…

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Bleach isn’t cleaning my tile

Cleaning your tile with bleach-based products may seem like a good solution to get rid of the ‘gunk’ growing in your shower, but it may have the exact opposite effect. Bleach-based products sold by many manufacturers as “mildew solutions or preventives” actually open the pores of the grout between your tiles and encourage the growth of even more bacteria.

This can cause your cementitious grout to deteriorate, and it can make your grout more susceptible to bacteria growth, meaning you’ll be cleaning it even more often. This works well for manufacturers of off-the-shelf, bleach-based products, but it’s causing more work for you, costing you extra money, and releasing more chemicals into your environment.

Save yourself some work and give your grout (and your lungs) a break — clean tile and grout ONLY with pH-Neutral cleaners and a stiff-bristle brush. (pH-Neutral cleaners are neither acidic nor alkaline.) Routine squeegeeing of your tile will also help it stay cleaner longer. Remember, you chose tile because it was easy to maintain; don’t make extra work for yourself. 😉

There are many good pH-Neutral tile cleaners sold at local tile distributors, or you can check out our website,, for links to our favorites.

See our related post offering some ‘green’ tile cleaning options –

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Tile’s Green Squared measures sustainable systems

     “Tile products are durable, inert and intended to last as long as the buildings in which they are installed. Tile and related installation materials are engineered to serve as permanent finishes capable of outliving several generations of building occupants,” writes Bill Griese of TCNA as he describes the importance of a standard which can be used to assess the sustainability of tile and installation materials in today’s ‘green’ building environment.
     In light of tile’s long life-cycle and the increasing movement toward industry-wide sustainability criteria, the Tile Council of North America has announced the establishment of Green Squared SM, the world’s first consensus-based sustainability standard and certification program developed exclusively for tiles and tile installation materials.
     “With the recent approval of ANSI A138.1, the standard upon which the Green Squared certification  program is based, our industry now has a means by which to define and certify the environmental and social sustainability attributes of tiles and related installation materials,” remarked Griese, TCNA standards development and Green Initiative manager.
     ANSI A138.1 is a multi-attribute sustainability standard which was written by an ANSI Accredited Standards Committee, ASC A108, representing ‘green’ building stakeholders, tile consumers, manufacturers, distributors, installers, and many other relevant interests. Encompassing ceramic tiles, glass tiles, setting materials, grouts, backer boards and membranes, this standard allows the tile industry to offer installed systems of conforming sustainable products – the first offering of its kind by any building material industry.
 developed the Green Squared program as a way for tiles and related installation materials to be certified as meeting ANSI A138.1. Products evaluated by an independent, third-party certification agency and verified to meet ANSI A138.1 will appear in the marketplace beginning in April 2012. These products will bear a single, easily recognizable Green Squared Certified mark that will give architects, specifiers, and consumers the confidence that these products are truly sustainable.
(Neuse Tile’s Nyle Wadford serves on the ANSI ASC A108 committee which approved this exciting new standard for the industry.)

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Etched in stone- selecting the right rock for your installation

If you don’t want lemon juice to ruin your new stone, be sure to select the right type of rock. Tile and stone are among the most durable building products in use today, but the acids in lemon juice, vinegar, and cut tomatoes can etch calcium carbonate and calcite-based stones.
The key is to select the right stone for your project. The chemical makeup and the method of formation of each type of natural stone contribute to whether it’s suitable for a particular application. Calcareous rocks such as marble, travertine, and limestone are composed of primarily calcium carbonate mineralogy, and may not be the best selection for a kitchen countertop where they might come in contact with the mild acids found in some common foods. Quartz-based sandstone and granite are more dense stones and should be more resistant to acids.
In addition to acid sensitivity, abrasion resistance and water sensitivity are important considerations when selecting your stone. For safety reasons, only textured finishes are recommended for outdoor or wet area applications. Travertine may not be the best choice for a commercial application since high-heeled shoes and wheeled carts can fracture the areas where a thin shell of stone conceals a natural void just below the finished surface.
Many green-colored marbles and serpentines warp or curl, when exposed to water or water-based adhesives during the installation process.* For this reason, additional preparation steps and particular care during the setting of the stone may be necessary. Light-colored marbles and almost all limestones must be installed with white mortar in order to prevent staining during installation. Particular care must also be taken when grouting calcium-carbonate based stones as the sand in sanded grout is generally harder than the stone itself. (Masking the stones or using unsanded grouts need to be considered).
As you select natural stones for your next project, be sure to consult with a tile professional. Qualified installers and showroom designers are a great resource for making the right stone selection. And be sure to use a certified and experienced tile contractor who will stand behind your beautiful and long-lasting stone installation.
*2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation — Tile Council of North America

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Glass tile & supermodels take work to be beautiful

It takes a lot of work to be beautiful– ask any supermodel!
The same is true for popular glass tile installations. Glass tiles can be stunning accents or features, but special care needs to be taken to make sure the look you want is actually achieved.
You don’t want that ‘perfect’ glass feature of your project installed by a contractor who can’t make it look as good as it does in the catalog or showroom. It takes specific adhesives for glass tiles, and translucent ones require particular attention to setting material color, coverage, and even trowel ridges.
Each glass tile manufacturer has specific recommendations for their product, but the TCNA Handbook points out that the look and performance of glass tiles can be affected by the following:
— Glass tile is more sensitive than ceramic to thermal shock, so it should be used carefully in areas where there will be rapid temperature changes (i.e. exteriors, kitchen countertops, fireplace surrounds);
— Glass tile expands more than ceramic, so more movement accommodation is necessary;
— Glass tiles require a more rigid substrate than ceramic;
— Glass tiles are impervious, so it may take longer for setting materials to cure;
— Some low-temperature, coated glass tiles should not be installed with cementitious materials, because the mortar’s “high alkalinity may deteriorate those low-temperature-applied backings.”
Your beautiful design will last as long as its installation. And, as any supermodel will tell you, it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes know-how to really make a fantastic finished product.

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20-year tile install — and counting

20-years ago we installed this customer’s tile — today she called to have us ‘spruce it up’ with a deep cleaning. Yesterday, it was a customer from 15-years ago.

Savvy shoppers look at the $0.33 per square foot per year cost of tile when considering materials to use in their projects.* When you’re considering the cost of floor covering choices ask: Will it last? Is it going to be a source of aggravation 2 years from now, or a ‘fixture’ for the next 20 years? How easy is it to maintain? Will you be able to find the contractor if you need them in the future?

When the up-front cost is spread over the life of the material, tile installed correctly has the lowest cost of any other flooring material. Sheet vinyl’s per year cost is $1.39, carpet’s is $1.08, and man-made hardwood is $$0.74 per year.

*See more results from the Scharf-Godfrey construction cost study at

(Of course, we’re glad to hear from our customers more often than once every 20 years, but it’s nice to know they’re choosing to update their floors instead of ‘having’ to.)