Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frequent Questions About Cement Tile

Today's post answers common questions about cement tile.

I like cement tiles, but how much do they cost per square foot?

The cost for most cement tiles ranges from about $8 per square per foot for solid color tiles to anywhere from $9 to $17 per square foot for patterned tiles. Cost depends on the size, pattern, color and finish selected. On small orders (less than 100 SF) freight costs can be as much as 30% of the cost. On larger orders (500 SF or more), freight will be about 10% of the cost of the order. Few flooring materail offer the show-stopping appeal of cement tile.

Alcala Cement Tile on Bath Wall
Alcala Cement Tile on Bath Wall

I'm trying to cut costs, why did you add an additional 10% in waste or overage to my order?

We add an additional 10% to the quantity of tile orders to account for waste, unless you ask us not to. This overage or waste allows for uncertainty in dimensions, tile variation, damage during installation, grout width and damage that may occur during shipping. I admit it seems excessive. But, I would be a very rich man if I had a dollar for every time someone has called and said, "Bill, we are short 3 tiles, can you get me more right away?" It costs much, much more to make and ship those three tiles than if we had ordered 20% more up-front. Things happen, tiles get broken during shipping and installation. The color of a few tiles is off. Dimensions are wrong or someone makes a mistake during installation. Waste and overage account for these problems and avoid spending money on rush shipping, bringing back a labor forces, or trying to match tiles from different dye lots.

Racked Cement Tiles Await a Water Bath to Cure the Cement
Racked Cement Tiles Await a Water Bath to Cure the Cement

Where should I use polished tiles?

Select tiles with a polished finish for most residential applications and all wall applications. Do not use polished tiles outdoors. Polishing tiles for outdoor applications is like throwing money down the drain since the polished finish will not last outdoors. Not all manufacturers can provide polished tiles. The finish on factory polished cement tiles simulates the "patina" a cement tile might develop after years of being cleaned with wax and water. Factory polishing is a mechanical process that uses a high-speed rotary buffer, mild abrasives and water to "polish" each cement tile.

Use Polished Cement Tiles for Backsplash

Can I get a patterned cement tile with a bullnose edge?

No. Only solid color cement tile tiles are available with a bull nose in some lines. Take a look at the trim options offered in our Heritage Molding and Bullnose Trim.

Cement Tile Moldings

Cement Tile Base Trim Installation with High Toe-Kick
Cement Tile Base Trim Installation with High Toe-Kick

Do I need to seal cement tile?

Yes, plan on sealing your cement tile installation with a "high quality" water-based penetrating stone and tile sealer. Cement is a porous material and we recommend that you seal your cement tile installations to minimize staining and reduce problems from water. Sealing cement tile can help mitigate problems like efflorescence.

Cement Tile Penetrating Sealer
A Penetrating Sealer for Cement Tiles

Have a question about cement tile? Let us know by posting a comment or sending an email. We'd love to help!

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