TIPS FROM A STONE CARE PRO FOR SELECTING AND BUYING STONE AND TILE

Are you building a new home? Restoring or re-decorating your old home? Are you an architect or interior designer in need of some direction with which tile to specify? The selection of tile and stone can be difficult, confusing even overwhelming. There are hundreds and hundreds of choices to make and if you have done any shopping I’m sure you have received an endless flow of advice, maybe even conflicting advice. I hope that you find the following information will arm you with the essential information you need to make the selection process easier, less confusing and even enjoyable.

THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL

Of course your first consideration is how it will look. With today’s options there is no reason to settle for anything less than stunning. Start with what is the overall feel you are aiming for. What type of decor will you be using in the room? A Southwestern style may require a Mexican tile floor. If the room is very elegant, marble or granite may work best. Be sure when selecting your tile that you take into consideration the decor of the room and that the tile compliments the mood.

Choose design, colors and styles that you will not tire of easily. Tile will often last as long as the house, so be sure you are happy with your selection. If in doubt, consult with an interior designer. Many tile and stone stores have designers on staff that will be more than happy to assist you with the proper selection. For inspiration and ideas, refer to tile and stone inspiration galleries such as the one on stoneandtilepros.com.

TRAFFIC AND WEAR

One of the biggest mistakes made in tile selection is choosing a stone or tile that is not suited for the traffic or usage it will be subjected to. Some marbles are very soft and should not be used in any area that will have to endure high traffic. A softer marble in a busy hotel lobby is a poor choice but may work well in a residential foyer. How easily does the material scratch?

TIP An easy test to perform is to take a pocket knife blade and run it lightly across the tile. If the blade leaves a scratch it will probably wear poorly in high traffic areas.

For the Architect or Designer refer to ASTM C241- Abrasive Resistance

STAIN AND ACID RESISTANCE

I will never forget a customer of mine who was a gourmet cook and installed beautiful white marble on her kitchen countertops. The marble was highly polished, very soft and not sealed. Needless to say in less than a month the marble was stained with every color of the rainbow and had lost its deep shine. Look carefully at the use the tile is to receive and determine how easy it will stain or etch. If you must use marble on a well-used kitchen countertop, be sure to seal it properly to inhibit staining agents from being able to seep in. The more absorbent the tile or stone, the more likely it will stain if not sealed. Etching, on the other hand is caused from acidic liquids coming in contact with acid-sensitive stones. Marble is rarely recommended for a kitchen because of its acid sensitivity.

For the Architect and Designer refer to ASTM C97-Absorption and Specific Gravity.

COST

Unfortunately cost is usually the deciding factor when selecting tile or stone. Cost can also be very misleading.

An inexpensive stone or tile may fit into your budget, but if it wears easily the cost of restoration, repair or replacement often will ultimately be more costly than not. Thoroughly investigate the maintenance requirements of the selected tile. Shop around and ask a lot of questions. The tile and stone market is very competitive so bargains can be found.

Warning: Tile and stone are available in different grades. The poorer grades may be cheaper but will have imperfections and flaws. Examine each tile carefully before it is installed.

TIP It is also a good idea to spend a little extra and buy spare tile in case tiles need to be replaced later. This is especially important with marble and ceramic since colors and patterns can be impossible to match later on.

Whatever your budget, do your homework and buy the best quality you can afford.

SAFETY

It is astonishing how many injuries occur each year due to slipping and falling. When choosing tile or stone, be sure it is not slippery. A highly polished granite tile on a shower floor may be a poor choice and a slip hazard, for example.

Honed, textured or flamed finishes may be less slippery. Ask us about treatments that can be applied to the surface of tile and stone to make it slip resistant.

For the Architect or Designer refer to ASTM test methods for coefficient of friction.

INSTALLATION

Who will do the installation? Many simple tiling projects can be performed by the do-it-yourselfer but more intricate projects and certain tiles, such as marble, should be left to the professional installer. Be sure to choose an installer familiar with installation of the tile type you select. Installation of ceramic tile differs from installation of stone.

SUB-FLOORING

What is the condition of the sub-floor (the floor the tile is to be installed on)? Is there an existing floor material or tile? Many times the sub-floor will have to be properly prepared before installation can begin. If you are tiling over an existing vinyl or tile floor, different setting materials will be needed so that proper bonding of the new tile will occur. If in doubt ask us for advice.

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance is the most overlooked factor when choosing stone or tile. Just because a stone or tile cost more doesn’t mean its maintenance requirements are less. There is no such thing as maintenance free! A twenty-cents-per-square-foot vinyl requires maintenance just as much as a thirty dollar per square foot stone. Be sure to understand the maintenance requirement of the tile or stone you select before you buy. Ask to see the maintenance guide for the tile type. It may also be a good idea to check with a friend or neighbor that has the same type of tile and ask them how easy or difficult it is to maintain.

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Testimonials

JMC did an outstanding job sealing the grout for the floor tiles and shower tiles. JMC also sealed the granite counter tops. The price was competitive and reasonable. The owner, Justin, personally performed the work. The good experience started with him showing up at the scheduled time. He was diligently focused on performing a good job. He applied several coats of sealer to the granite tops to insure a quality job. He spent hours sealing the grout for over 2,000 sq ft of floor tile. His enthusiasm and attention to quality never waivered. I highly recommend using their services.

Steve Temecula CA

Justin helped my husband and I repair a large crack in our granite slab. He not only repaired the crack but resealed all of our other countertops too. His price was very competitive and he kept his word on when he was available and showed up on time. What more could you have asked for! Thank you Justin!!

Misty Temecula CA

Justin did an amazing job color enhancing and sealing our slate floors. I called and met with several tile cleaning companies, but chose Justin because I felt he was the most honest, knowledgeable, and experienced. He took the time to explain different options and even showed me a small area before he continued with the entire floor. He spent hours prepping, cleaning, enhancing, and sealing our slate. His work paid off...our floors are finally gorgeous! He changed our dull, chalky looking slate by giving it a brilliant luster that enhances our home. I could not be more thrilled with the results. Bottom line, Justin did exactly what he said he would at the cost we agreed to and even changed his personal schedule to accommodate my schedule. He went above and beyond. In a time when I feel it is difficult to find good, honest, hardworking people to hire, Justin at JMC Tile and Grout has changed my mind. Thank you Justin!

Laura Temecula CA

Justin is very professional. He has done 2 separate marble polishing jobs for us and each time we have been very pleased. He is very thorough and careful, doing a great prep job to prevent any damage. His prices are very fair. So glad we found Justin. There are very few marble and stone care professionals in this area. Highly recommend Justin!

Diane Murrieta CA

Justin came in and cleaned and resealed the grout on our floors. He was a very professional and easy person to talk to. He was also very helpful with other things around the house. Great guy and great job. Well done!!! Thank you!!!

Helene Temecula CA

Justin did an excellent job of repairing a large crack in our kitchen granite. It was quite deep and covered a large area. Needless to say it was very noticeable and would have caused us to replace an entire slab of granite if we had not had it repaired. He spent almost an entire morning in the restoration. He was meticulous in his work, was able to match the color of the granite and it looks 100% better. In addition he resealed and polished all the rest of our granite countertops. We certainly would recommend him. He was professional, very neat and thorough. He arrived exactly on time, even though he had to drive an hour to reach us. He will certainly be someone we contact again if we need any more restoration or maintenance on our granite. We were delighted with his work. Cyndi M. Coronado

Cyndi Coronado CA

Justin is the man. My wife and I recently moved into our new home in Lake Elsinore, we thought that we would seal the grout on our floors and shower by ourselves. After realizing the size and scope of the grout sealing project we decided to contact an expert to get an estimate. I had read online that most tile companies charge about $1.00 per square foot so I had an idea how much the estimate would be. Justin came out the same day and gave my wife the estimate. Since we did not have any furniture in the house yet we asked if he could start the same day. It was already 2pm at that point and Justin was not sure if he had enough sealer with him to do the whole job. He agreed to start sealing the grout near the walls where the heavy furniture would be placed and come back later to finish the job another day. After he started sealing our grout he found more sealer in his work van and decided that he would just power through and finish the job for us the same day! We were thrilled with the entire experience. Justin is truly a tile and stone professional. When he was finished sealing the grout he also sealed our new granite counter tops. All I can say is, if we ever have a tile or stone job in the future, Justin is "our guy." Great service with top quality products and fair pricing, what more could you ask for? Also, at no point during the job did he attempt to up-sell us anything, as a matter of fact, he tried to lower his price once the job was finished but we wouldn't hear of it. We agreed to a set price and that is what he deserved. Thanks Justin, you saved us a lot of time and energy. I can sleep better at night knowing that our expensive new flooring is protected for many years to come. I would highly recommend JMC Stone & Tile to friends and family.

Lake Elsinore CA

Justin thank you so much for the wonderful job you did restoring my marble floor. Very professional and I will recommend your service to all our friends. Thank you Elizabeth, Riverside County

Elizabeth , Riverside County

Thank you Justin at JMC Stone and Tile Care. He re colored our grout with color seal and it looks amazing. His attention to detail to customer service is top notch and I have no problem referring your services. If your in Temecula CA JMC Stone and Tile Care is my recommendation for all your tile, stone, and color sealing needs. Thank you so much

Cathi Cameron, Temecula CA

We are so happy with the service from Justin at JMC stone and tile care. He re colored are old nasty stained grout on our countertops with color seal. The grout looks brand new he will be referred to all our friends in Murrieta CA.

Julie Johnson Murrieta CA

Justin (JMC Stone and Tile Care) cleaned the tile and grout of my floors in April 2013. On the day he was at my home to provide a quote and also on the day of service, Justin was prompt, courteous and professional. Once involved in the job and realizing that part of my floors was not as badly in need of cleaning as the rest of the tile, he reduced the cost of the service. I very much appreciated his fairness and integrity! Not only did my floors looks sparkling clean when he was done, but I also knew much more about how to keep my floors clean on my own. He was quick to share secrets of his trade! I recommend Justin’s service without reservation. His service is unparalleled, and he is a friendly and honest professional! Gail Miller Temecula CA

Gail Miller Temecula CA

Justin, I would like to thank you again for the excellent job you did repairing and retiling our marble tile table. I would definitely use your services again and recommend you to anyone needing stone or tile work done in Murrieta CA. Thank you, Heather Lumsden

Heather Lumsden Murrieta CA

We have been very pleased with the service that Justin has given us. The overall quality of his work was excellent. In one small area we had a slightly rough feel to the sealant he had applied to our granite countertops. Justin returned on the very day that we called him and quickly repaired it. This is a very courteous, professional, and above all, competent service in Murrieta CA. Thanks so much John Welniak

John Welniak. Murrieta CA

February 14, 2013 Justin We are absolutely thrilled with our new floor!!!! Yes, I say new floor because that is the way the whole house looks! It looks like brand new tile. Justin, you did a fabulous job! Thank You, Judy Nitti

Judy Nitti Temecula CA

I accidentally spilled some cleaner on our marble vanity and made those awful etch marks. I called Justin at JMC Stone and Tile Care and he assured me that I didn't ruin my bathroom vanity. Thanks so much for removing those etch marks, we will definitely refer you to anyone in Wildomar CA.

J. Escarsega, Wildomar CA

I would like to thank Justin of JMC Stone and Tile care for bringing back the beautiful shine to our granite countertops. Very professsional and courteous and on time. It's hard to find all those qualities in one place. Thanks Justin again and we are clients for life and we will definitely refer you to anyone in Oeanside Ca.

Lacey Linek, Oceanside CA

We had a last minute emergency and we had a surprise visit from an important client. We called a few tile and stone companies and not one would help us. We called JMC Stone and Tile Care and Justin rescued us. He was very professional and accommodating to our last minute request to have the tile cleaned. For that we can't thank you enough and will refer you to anyone in Carlsbad CA.

Kyle Batsford, Palomar Reprographics, Carlsbad CA
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