What Do You Need to Know When Selecting Tile, Stone, Mosaics and More!

When you're in the process of selecting tile or stone, you may have questions. The following are questions that we are regularly asked. If you have addtional questions, don't hesitate to contact us!

What about ordering tile and stone samples?

We want you to be thrilled with your purchase so in order to better ensure your happiness it is important that you understand a few things about tile and stone. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are earthen products with a degree of expected variation in size, shade and texture from tile to tile within a single box or dye lot.

Furthermore, modern manufacturing techniques are so sophisticated that many tiles have been designed to have up to 40 or more different images within its production in order to better mimic the differences in color, shade, variation and veining inherent to natural stone. It is for these reasons that we strongly encourage you to purchase a full box of tile or at least 4 pieces of natural stone to better enable you to gain a sense of the true look of the product. This is virtually impossible to do with a single piece of tile or stone much less a 6” by 6” sample piece. 

What kind of tile can I choose from?

  • Ceramic: ceramic tile is available in both a red and white body form. Red body tile goes through a multiple fired process, while the white body tile goes through a single fired process. Ceramic’s uses are mainly interior and include floor and wall applications.
  •  Porcelain: porcelain tile is made from similar material as ceramic tile, however it undergoes a more refined process which makes it more durable and impervious to moisture. Porcelain’s uses are both interior and exterior.

How much material do I need?

Square footage is taking the width and length of a room and multiplying them together to get the total footage. Example: a room that is 8ft x 8ft = 64 square feet. *Always add more for cuts, designs and to have handy for future repairs.

>> Be sure to download the tile installation pattern sheets to get a better idea on how patterns affect the quantity of tile you'll need to complete a project.

What kind of setting materials do I need?

There are 2 types of tile mortar.

  • Economy thinset which is used on raw clean concrete. This thinset cannot be used to set porcelain tile. 
  • Multipurpose bonds to most surfaces and is ideal for setting porcelain tile.
>> Explore Installing Tile: What You Need

What kind of grout do I need?

Sanded: is used when the grout joint width is a minimum of 1/8”

Unsanded: is used for wall tile or when the grout joint is less than 1/8”.

>> Read How To Set Large Format Wall and Floor Tile: Merkrete Demonstration

Do I really need to seal my tile or stone?

Tile grout: needs to be sealed 3 days after installation. Seal after installation according to manufacturer’s recommendations based on type of sealer selected.

Stone products: are naturally porous and should be sealed after installation according to manufacturer’s (which manufacturer? Of the sealer?) based on the type of sealer selected.

>> Read Ready to Seal Stone? Here are the Types of Stone Sealers Available

When you are in-store, be sure to consult your Tile Outlets of America Sales Associate for your specific project needs. Or, simply contact us