We'll make getting a flooring product easy. When you purchase products from Richard’s Carpet & Tile, you receive the added benefit of accessibility to technical knowledge, warranty care, routine maintenance, and emergency service if calamities strike, for the life of the product.
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Glaze vs. Unglazed:
Glazed tiles have a glaze applied to the clay body (a.k.a., bisque) to create the tile's surface color and level of shine. Some tiles are made with a clear glaze which allows the clay's natural color to come through the transparent finish. Glazed tile are either single-fired (a.k.a., monocottura) or double-fired (a.k.a., bicottura). Monocottura tiles are more popular because they are stronger. Bicottura tiles are baked twice usually for decorative reasons.
Unglazed tiles provide the natural color of the clay (commonly reddish). Unglazed tiles are frequently used in heavy, commercial traffic areas because of their density. The unglazed tile category often includes quarry tile and porcelain tile. Quarry tiles are usually thick, low absorbent, and durable like the reddish terra cotta tile. Porcelain tiles are fully vitrified, chemically resistant, strong tiles like some mosaic tiles. Mosaic tiles are defined by size more than anything. Mosaic tiles can be glazed or unglazed but are almost always one-inch square. Mosaic tiles have been used for centuries to construct murals and floor images. Today, most mosaic tiles come in sheets to expedite installations.
Textured vs. Smooth
Abrasive slip-resistant finishes are the best at preventing slips and have a dull appearance.
Matte finishes reflect more light and still offer a relatively high friction coefficient.
High-gloss finishes scratch easily and are very slippery, but cause the atmosphere to shine with light. Thus, high-gloss tiles are most suitable for walls. Usually, the highly textured tiles will have a matte finish, but occasionally, high-gloss finishes are applied to very textured surfaces.
Semi-vitreous tiles absorb between 3 and 7 percent.
Vitreous tiles absorb between .5 and 3 percent.
Fully vitrified tiles absorb less than .5 percent.
Sizes and Shapes
Abrasion resistance measures the tile's ability to withstand traffic before showing wear patterns. Although there is no official rating system, many companies use the testing guidelines of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) and the ranking system of the Porcelain Enamel Institute (P.E.I.) to gauge abrasion resistance. Tiles are usually divided into four to six categories (five categories being the most popular scale). The higher the class or group, the better the abrasion resistance. Typically, tiles in the first class are suitable for wall applications only. Generally, only the tiles ranking in Class IV or Class V (in a five-tier scale) are designed for commercial use.
Density (a.k.a., specific gravity or specific weight) measures the weight of a specific volume of ceramic. Density may be measured inversely by taking a unit of volume divided by weight. Ultimately, density influences the mechanical strength, the moisture absorption, the shipping cost, and a building's load capacity.
Traction (a.k.a., slip resistance) is measured by a friction coefficient, the minimum is 0.50. The Americans with Disabilities Act ® (ADA) requires a minimum of 0.60 for general areas and 0.80 for ramps. Traction is predominantly determined by the ceramic tile's texture and finish.
Chemical resistance speaks to a ceramic's ability to resist damage alkaline and acidic solutions (mild to harsh).
The grout between your tile plays both a cosmetic and a structural role. Some customers attempt to blend the grout color in with the tiles. In contrast, others choose grout with distinctly different but complementary color to the tile causing the grout lines to draw as much attention as the tile. Structurally, grout adds strength to the individual tiles. Joints less than 1/8 inch wide use non-sanded grout; joints between 1/8 inch and ½ inch wide use sanded grout. There are three primary types of grout: portland cement based grout, latex based grout, and epoxy grout.
Portland cement based grouts are good for general use with moderate traffic.
Latex based grouts are used when extra strength is needed or the grout needs to have added water resistance.
Epoxy grouts are known for their ability to resist some chemicals, stain resistance, moisture resistance, color consistency, and strength. Stone products are often butted together to eliminate grout joints.
Waterproof membranes are needed because both grout and ceramic are usually porous. The waterproof membranes prevent water from seeping up through the substrate or from seeping down through the ceramic to the floor or wall. This is especially important in some outdoor settings.
Crack isolation membranes can prevent cracks and shifts in the concrete slab (up to 1/4 inch) from causing cracks in the ceramic tile on the surface.
Sound control membranes reduce the sound both above and below the floor. This is especially helpful in multistory buildings.
It may have been a good five to ten years since the last time you selected a new flooring product. Infrequency makes it difficult to stay up with design trends, brand names, pricing and the myriad of other details that constitute a good choice. Please let us help. Below is a check list that simplifies the process.
Sketch a rough diagram of the floor plan. Your diagram should include the following: the names of the areas (e.g., living room), the approximate measurements, the type of flooring currently on the floor, the type of subfloor, if known, (e.g., wood, concrete, terrazzo), the location of thresholds indicated by dotted lines, the volume of use and type of use (e.g., rarely used/dinner parties), and the quality of the lighting: low, medium, high.
Calculate the approximate square footage of each area by multiplying the length by the width. Add 10% for overage by multiplying your total square feet by 1.10. For example, assume your room is 14 feet wide by 18 feet long.
Actual Square Footage 14' x 18' = 252 sf.
Adjusted Square Footage 252 sf. x 1.10 = 277.2 sf.
Decide how many years you want the new flooring to last. For example, you may want to remodel in five years to put your home on the market.
Gather color keys and samples of your primary colors in each area (e.g., wallpaper, drapes, paint, fabrics) or take pictures of the areas to help in the color selection. Identify your decorating style. Calculate your budget.
Review your calendar to select a time for the work. You should anticipate times during the work week. Also, be sure to ask how long the project will take. Consider what moldings you want around the edges and at the thresholds. Compare the different flooring products (e.g., carpet, wood, tile, etc.) Consider several decorating ideas about styles, colors, patterns, textures, and functions.
The following preparations should be made before your flooring product is installed. Some of these preparations may be unrealistic given your circumstances and may not affect the success of the installation. However, we've included these manufacturer and regulatory agency recommendations in hope of the optimal installation and for disclosure reasons. Manufacturers may vary slightly. The manufacturer of the product you select is the final authority for their product.
A layout should be agreed on. Tiles may have accent pieces you want positioned in a certain spot in the room, or you may want the tiles angled to a particular degree.
Doors may have to be adjusted or cut at the bottom (i.e., planed) after your flooring is installed. Determinations as to whether such alterations are needed may not be possible prior to the installation. Door adjustments are priced separately.
Moldings are located at thresholds and around the room's perimeter. The molding may have to be removed, replaced, or added. A broad variety of moldings is available for all flooring products. Moldings are made of wood, vinyl, rubber, metal, carpet, stone, and ceramic. Some moldings are designed to draw attention; while, others are designed to blend in with the primary flooring products. Moldings are priced separately.
If you have a concrete subfloor and it is new construction, the concrete needs to cure for 45-120 days before installing the flooring (90-day average). The porosity of the subfloor (wood, concrete, etc.) should be tested. This indicates how well the adhesive will bond with the subfloor. Testing of the subfloor should be done early to deal with any problem that you may detect. This test is usually just a matter of formality.
Customers will need to verify that the relative humidity of the building is between 30% to 70%. High humidity may hinder the mortar's curing time which will delay the grouting. Low humidity may accelerate the mortar's curing time which could lead to cracking. Most customers have the proper relative humidity.
Please condition the room to between 60° and 90° F (suggested 75°) for 48 hours before the installation. Temperatures below 50° will slow the drying time which will delay the grouting for 2 to 4 days and could lead to cracked tiles a few months later. After the temperature has been properly set, acclimatize the new tile or stone to the room 24 hours prior to the installation. Never stack tile or stone more than 5 boxes high. Alternatively, we can acclimatize the product in our warehouse. Please, pick up all personal items from the floor, and secure all delicate breakables (e.g., dining pieces and figurines in a china cabinet) prior to our arrival. Please disassemble complicated electrical equipment like computers prior to our arrival. If the building is new construction, the building should be presented broom-swept and free of all equipment, etc. The furniture must be carefully removed and put back in place. About half of our customers choose to handle their own furniture; therefore, furniture handling is priced separately. If you elect to handle the furniture, please remove the furniture prior to our arrival. Some manufacatirers recommend that furniture not be returned onto the new flooring for a period of time. See directions below.
Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance
The old flooring must be removed and disposed of in accordance with local ordinances. We provide this service for most of our customers, but occasionally customers elect to do this themselves. Therefore, take up and disposal are priced separately. Sometimes, new tile or stone can be installed over existing products like vinyl, V.C.T., etc.
When the products arrive at your site, please verify the products are the correct color, style, and quantity you ordered. The earlier the detection, the better. Flooring products that are installed create more warranty complications than products still on the truck.
Please secure your small children and pets from following us out of your home while the exterior doors are open.
The subfloor must be in suitable condition. Your subfloor may or may not require floor prep. The amount of preparation varies depending on: the type of subfloor, the subfloor's condition, and the manufacturer's specifications. Subfloor preparation is priced separately. The stability and precision of the subfloor will have a bearing on the long-term success of your new flooring.
BE ASSURED THAT FLOOR PREP IS USUALLY ONLY A NOMINAL EXPENSE. MANY CUSTOMERS HAVE NO FLOOR PREP EXPENSES.
Here are some of the common preparations made on the different floor types: concrete, terrazzo, wood, or metal.
- Plywood joints should be level within 1/16".
- Reinforce subfloor to stiffen and smooth the surface with backer board, Wonderboard®, wood underlayment, lauan plywood panels (Type 1, exterior, OVL grade, solid core mahogany), or plywood.
- Treat for urine contamination.
- Abrade glazed surfaces.
- Replace weak boards and secure loose boards.
- Seal with primer.
- Grind away concrete curing agents, parting agents, or surface hardeners.
- Grind down high spots.
- Chip away wall plaster, etc.
- Fill holes and cracks up to ¼" thickness with patch and leveling compounds.
- Fill in and level depressions up to ¼" deep with patch and leveling compounds.
- Nail down protruding nails.
- Remove old adhesive completely.
- Remove paint, varnish, wax, pigmented material, solvents, grease, oil, etc. completely.
- Sand away rust of metal substrates.
- Sweep clean.
- Plan for the grouting to take place 1-4 days after the tile installation depending on curing conditions.
Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance
Retain extra pieces (field and trim pieces) for possible repairs that may be needed in the future. Store the tile pieces on a flat surface, no more than three boxes high. Richard’s Carpet & Tile picks up all flooring product scraps. The customer will need to sweep and mop the tile or stone. The tile or stone should not be swept or mopped for 48 hours after the grouting is finished. Be sure the grout is dry.
Do not expose the tile or stone to any foot traffic for 24 hours after it is installed. Be sure the tile or stone is firmly set before walking on it. Then, do not return the furniture or step on the grout lines for 24 hours after the grouting is finished. Be sure the grout is dry. The mortar and the grout need time to cure.
Maintain the same temperature for 48 hours after your tile or stone installation. Be sure to seal the grout seven (7) days after the installation with grout sealer to add stain resistance and cleanability. The grout should be clean at the time of application.
Call Us Today At ♦ 816-407-7999
Liberty, MO 64068
Sat: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
In Business Since 1969