Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find some commonly asked questions. Or if you’d like to speak with a specialist, contact us and our team will be happy to help.

How do I prepare for tile shade variation?

According to the CTEF, there are five steps as listed below:

1. Inform and educate consumers about shade variation
Inform consumers that the tile they receive most likely will not look exactly like the piece on the sample board. This variation in shade, some very subtle and some widely varied, is possible.

2. Refer to a tile shade variation chart
Oftentimes, a visual on shade variation is worth a thousand words. Look for it and refer to it with customers.

Most sample boards or tile literature now list a range of shade, tone, texture and color as found in the TCNA Handbook and similarly in the ANSI A137.1 Specifications for Ceramic Tile.

This chart, as shown in Table 3 below, ranges from V0 (zero) which exhibits no shade range detectable by the average eye to the potentially extremely varied color and tone of a V4. I’ve included more detail in the section below.

3. Be cautious of tile selections made from an image
Be especially cautious of consumers who make tile selections from a single color photo or image online. While being a great way to save time, there is nothing like seeing, touching, experiencing and knowing all about their selection before the tile is ordered.

Additionally, a computer or tablet monitor may not be color perfect. There’s no recourse once you’ve installed the tile, except to remove it and start over.

4. Encourage customers to look at several pieces of tile
Compounding the 5:05 surprise is when consumers select tile without the assistance of a knowledgeable installer or salesperson to guide and counsel on how the end result might look.

That is particularly true if they select tile based on a single piece of tile or from a small cut piece on a sample board. One single piece of tile cannot adequately represent the overall effect of a roomful of that tile installed. You can imagine how painful the results can be!

5. Insist on a mockup!
The safest way to eliminate the “Five 0 Five” surprise is to provide your customer with a mounted and grouted panel that shows the tile shade variation and pattern layout (if the job calls for it) along with the size and color of the grout joint before the job begins.

When this is approved, the customer should sign and date the back of the mockup which offers proof that the entire spectrum of the tile job has their approval.”

How do I grout my tile?

Watch our do-it-yourself (DIY) video and follow our step by step guides to discover how to grout tile.

How do I remove grout residue (haze) from the surface of my tile?

Aqua Mix® Grout Haze Clean-Up is a safe and effective concentrated cleaner that is added to the grout clean up water for removal of cementitious grout haze and latex additive film from tile during the grout cleanup process. It may also be used full-strength to remove light grout residue within the first 10 days after grouting.

How do I install a shower that will resist mold and mildew while keeping the design elements I am looking for?

It is important that you install the appropriate shower system.

What is a slip resistant tile?

No floor tile is “slip proof”.The coefficient of friction (slip-resistance) is an important consideration when selecting tiles for use on floors, high traffic and wet areas. The industry is moving to the new DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction). Read more

Who will help me with my design ideas?

D&B invites you to visit one of our nine locations staffed by experienced flooring designers. Our “idea showrooms” are updated frequently with the latest trends. Feel free to contact us via email or phone if you need more information.

How do I clean my tile?

Use Aqua Mix® Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner. A super-concentrated cleaner formulated for everyday use. This neutral cleaner, when used regularly, prevents soap scum buildup and hard water deposits. Sweep, vacuum, or dust surface. Mix 1 to 4 oz (30 to 118 mL) of Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner per gallon (3.8 L), of water. For polished natural stone surfaces, 1 oz (30 mL) of Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner per gallon (3.8 L), of water is usually sufficient. Apply solution to surface with mop or sponge. Allow to dwell 1 to 2 minutes. Agitate with a natural-bristle brush or white nylon scrub pad. Do not allow solution to dry on surface. Mop up dirty solution. Change cleaning solution at least every 250 ft (25 M), or as needed. Technical Data Sheet

What is rectified tile?

Rectified tile is made by grinding or cutting the tile on all four sides so that measurable variance from tile to tile is minimized. (Standards for rectified tile size variation are shown in ANSI A 137.1 Table 10.) One benefit of minimal size variation is that it allows for very narrow grout joints. However, variation in the substrate must be minimal. We recommend that you use a minimum of 1/8” grout joint.

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