Frequently Asked Questions

Backsplash

Below is a list of frequently asked questions.  We hope this helps you understand our products and services.  Please click on the question or scroll down to find the answer to the following questions.

General

Selecting our Products

 Installing our Products

Care and Maintenance

General

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Are you open to the public?

Yes, our showrooms are open to the public.  We have professional associates that can help you with all of your tile needs.  Please visit us and be inspired!

Are all of your products in stock?

The website is only a portion of the tiles we stock.  We carry many additional lines, which we show in our showrooms and thru our dealer distribution.  Our website does feature collection lines that we promote in our architectural program.  Those products are not stocked but are available for specification and would be shipped on our next container of material from the factory.

What is your return policy?

Retail customers may return unused regular stock tile up to 30 days from invoice for a refund.  Special order tile may not be returned.  Discontinued and close out tile may not be returned.

Does your company install tile?

No.  We are a distributor.  If you have made selections from our inventory we can provide you with the name of a tile installer.  If you are outside the Minneapolis area we can recommend a dealer who sells and installs our products.

 

Selecting our Products

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What does shade variation mean?

The color shade or shades of all tiles vary to some degree from piece to piece and from production run to production run.  Many series are designed to have a great deal of variation as part of the visual design.  Tiles are rated as follows:

  • V1 = Uniform Appearance
  • V2 = Slight Variation
  • V3 = Moderate Variation
  • V4 = Random Variation

My tile contactor asked me to make my tile selections.  Do I need to make an appointment to make selections?

No you do not need an appointment.  If you are making selections for an entire home we often will determine that an appointment will allow us to spend more time with you on your selections.

Can I get samples?

We check out samples from our showrooms for you to take and view in your own home and to coordinate with other design elements.  If you do not live in the Minneapolis area please contact us for further information about your sample needs.

What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?

Porcelain tiles are also ceramic tiles. But porcelain tiles have specific technical properties.  Porcelain tiles are made using finer materials and are fired under intense pressure and temperature so they are very dense.  They have water absorption of 0.5% or less.  Non-porcelain tiles have water absorption of more than 0.5%.

Can I select slate tile for my shower?

Yes.  However, when using natural stone in a shower you must understand the sealing recommendations and proper maintenance products.  Many porcelain tiles are manufactured to resemble slate and are a great alternative for ease of maintenance.

 

Installing our Products

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What grout joint size should I use for my installation?

The common practice today is to use a spacing of 1/8” to 3/16”.  Your tile may determine what size grout spacing you should use.

How do I attach my fixtures?

We recommend using a clear 100% silicone.  Tape the fixtures in place overnight to prevent any slipping.

My installation has a haze on it after I grouted.  How do I get it off?

A proper clean up after grouting is very important.  If a haze exists the following day and is difficult to remove contact us for a recommended cleaner that will remove the grout haze.

How do I plan my shower installation?

Most installers begin on the back wall first.  The sidewalls are installed next with the cuts back in the corners.

How do I determine how much tile to order?

As a general rule you should figure out how many square feet you will be covering and then add 10% to allow for cuts and waste.  If you are installing a complicated pattern it is best to add 15% for waste.

What do I do to my walls before installing a backsplash?

Make sure the wall is clean and free of any grease, dirt or oil.  Tile can be installed over a painted or primed wall.  Do not install over raw sheetrock.

Care and Maintenance

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How do I clean my tile?

Ceramic and porcelain tile require little maintenance.  You should select a non-acidic cleaner designed for tile and stone care as a general cleaner.  See our Care and Maintenance page for details of products sold in our Maple Grove showroom.

My grout is dirty.  How do I clean it?

Grout maintenance is important.  Dirty grout may require use of an intensive acidic cleaner designed to remove deep dirt and restore grout color.  After cleaning the floor must be cleaned with clear water and allowed to dry.  After cleaning grout must be resealed for proper protection.

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