Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers


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Shedding light on a tile problem

A long-time friend called today to ask for our insight on her tile installed by someone her contractor hired (not us). She was happy when the installer finished and got the edge trim corrected, but when her under-cabinet lights were mounted new problems appeared.

The growing use of accent lighting and handmade tiles exacerbates an issue that needs to be addressed before the first tile is installed. Die release lines on ceramic mosaics, scored tiles, and uneven edges on tile will cast distinctive shadows when highlighted by direct overhead lighting –-even if the tile is installed meeting acceptable standards. In this case, the tile installation had some issues that made the situation worse, so her contractor is having everything taken out and re-done.

elli splash

Under cabinet lights require prior planning by all involved.

This time, he needs to 1) make sure the surface to be tiled is totally smooth and flat or specify a mortar bed installation; 2) discuss the tile selection with the homeowner and explain the potential issues that the tile chosen could produce; 3) make sure the finished lighting is in place and functioning prior to the tile installation so any shadows can be immediately addressed; 4) and discuss a pattern change or widening the grout joints to allow for more gradual variation as shadows are cast over the tile.

The tile installer will, of course, need to perform his craft carefully, properly adhere and  ‘beat-in’ the tile, and perhaps present a mock-up to get prior approval. Like so many issues in construction, this one could have been prevented by:

  1. using professionals in the selection process who are knowledgeable about potential “gotcha’s”;
  2. using high-quality materials produced by known manufacturers (not necessarily high-priced);
  3. using experienced and qualified installers who can help identify issues before they become problems.

We know our friend will love her new kitchen after the removal and replacement is completed, but her 72-day renovation has now been prolonged another week. When she gets ready to do the bathroom, she says she’ll call us first 🙂

#NotAsEasyAsItLooksOnTV


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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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Wara Juraku & other possibilities – Why Tile?

It’s National TILE Day, and we’d like to celebrate by mentioning a few of this week’s materials: yellow penny rounds in a café, 24”x24” porcelain in 10 movie theaters, Wara Juraku Dukechisled cobblestone for a residential renovation, crackled glass for a new kitchen, and Wara Juraku Stucco straight from Japan. Let your artistic imagination scroll through that variety for a minute!

Our work is as varied as the materials and imaginations of designers and end users, and we love the technical challenge of making sure we’re doing the right things to prepare the materials, select the correct mortars, ensure a long-lasting installation, provide a system warranty, and leave every space yellow penny roundsmuch better looking than when we arrive. Our installers are certainly craftsmen, frequently artists, and always skilled technicians.

They do math, and our materials are weighty, but our team is equally talented in creativity and spatial prowess. There’s no other trade that combines such diverse skill sets and the satisfaction of a space truly transformed – for the long haul.

Tile and stone are low-maintenance, environmentally healthy,wall tile outside restrooms ala meant to last, and full of style – when installed by a qualified team using the right materials. It’s the ideal material for your next project, and we can’t wait to see what you select!

Now we’re going to celebrate National TILE Day by getting back to a conversation about some 5 ft. x 5 ft. porcelain panels for a new shower……  #WhyTILE


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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.