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Ask Pete The Pro

Pete The Pro

Answers to Your Installation Questions

Looking for advice from our expert? Pete The Pro can answer your installation questions.

Q: Do I need to take up old ceramic tile floor?
In most cases you should. The best installation is one where you can start from the beginning and know exactly what is being done. Remember, your floor is only as good as what it goes over.
Q: Should I use cement board or dry wall?
Preferably cement board should be used in all applications - especially in wet areas. Most types of cement board are water resistant and won't fall apart like drywall will should there be a water problem.
Q: Can you put cement board on the floor?
Absolutely! Here again, cement board would be the preferred method of underlayment. Remember to achieve a total thickness of 1 1/4" of sub-floor before the flooring is installed.
Q: Do large tiles crack?
All tiles can crack if not installed properly. If the proper medium bed mortar is used and the underlayment is installed properly, the tile should last as long as you want it to.
Q: Do I need a wet saw?
Use of a wet saw certainly makes your job go a lot quicker, but is not needed all of the time. Wet saws should be used when cutting any type of stone and most types of porcelain. We rent a variety of wet saws for any application that you might need.
Q: Should I waterproof the walls?
Waterproofing is always a good idea - especially in wet areas. We recommend the use of Laticrete's Hydroban, which can be applied with a paint brush and roller. This inhibits the growth of mold and mildew should there be a water problem.
Q: Is there a stain resistant grout?
There finally is a solution to this ageless problem and it is Laticrete's SpectraLOCK Pro epoxy grout. There are forty available colors available in this epoxy grout line and can be installed by anybody!
Q: Should I seal the grout?
Sealing your grout is always recommended. Whether it is sanded or unsanded grout, we recommend using Aqua Mix's Sealers Choice Gold. This can be applied with a sponge brush or applicator bottle.
Q: Does Century have all the tools you need?
We rent or sell all of the tolls that would be needed to do your project. From wet saws to trowels and buckets, everything that you would need would be available at your nearest Century Tile location. Our salespeople can recommend what tools are required or preferred for your job.
Q: Can you heat tile floors?
You certainly can! Century Tile sells both Laticrete's FloorHEAT system as well as NuHeat's floor warming systems and Schluter's DitraHEAT. They are all like electric blankets for your tile floors and defiantly fell good on those cold Chicago days!.
Q: Do you warranty setting material and grout?
We do. We honor all manufacturer warranties that are used with any Laticrete installation system. Ask your salesperson for details or download this information off of our website.
Q: Can you tile over Plywood?
You can if you use a latex modified thinset. Laticrete sells a variety of mortars that would fit this criteria. Make sure you tell your salesperson what it is that you are doing so we can recommend the proper mortar for you.
Q: Do I caulk between the tile and tub?
Absolutely! Any product that you install in your tub or shower will not meet the tub or shower base. You want to make sure that water does not find a way back there. We recommend using Laticrete's 100% silicone caulk. Most of this line coordinates with the color of grout that you used for a seamless transition.
Q: What forms of payment do you take?
We accept Cash, Check, Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express and financing with our Mohawk Credit card.
Q: How long will it take to get to get my material?
We pride ourselves on having in-stock, ready to go material merchandise that takes one to two business days to bring in. Special Orders might take longer depending on where it has to come in from.
Q: Is the material available in more sizes?
All of the items that we display show all of the available sizes and colors within that line.
Q:How many pieces are in a carton?
The number of pieces in a box varies by item and manufacturer.
Q: Can I return this item?
Yes, you can return the stocked item as long as it is within the 30 days return policy – full cartons only. Unfortunately we cannot if it is a special ordered item.
Q: Do I or can I get a discount?
We offer quantity discounts on most of the material that we sell.
Q: How much is it to install the material that I want to buy?
We offer installation on most of the material that we sell. We can generate a installation quote for you and there would be a $50.00 measure fee which is applied toward your purchase.
Q: Can I have this tile now?
We offer 10,000 patterns and designs that are in stock and available immediately or in one or two business days.
Q: Do I have to buy in full cartons?
Not necessarily. Most of the in-stock material that we offer can be sold by the piece or square foot. There are other materials that are only sold by the carton, such as laminate and wood. Check with your salesperson for details regarding the product that you are looking to purchase.
Q: What are your hours?
Most of our stores are open Monday through Friday 8am to 9 pm, Saturdays 8am to 6pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm. Store hours are different from store to store so make sure to check our locations tab for the hours for the specific store you would like to visit.
Q: Where are your other stores?
We have 12 stores in and around the Chicagoland area. Check the locations tab at the bottom of this page to find a store nearest you.
Q: Can we match old tile or any tile?
Due to our large selection there might be something that might come close you what it is that you are looking for. Unfortunately the life cycles of cermaic or porcelain are roughtly three to five years, but we will do our best to find something that will work.
Q: Do you deliver?
We deliver within the Chicagoland area for a charge of $65.00. Unfortunatlely we can only deliver to the garage or 1st floor, should a garage not be available. A delivery charge of $100.00 would apply for all downtown Chicago deliveries or our far reaching suburbs. For delivery outside our trading area, a fee can be quoted to you. You can talk to your salesperson for more details.
Q: Do you have peel and stick tile?
We do! We have over 250 patterns in stock in a variety of colrs and sizes.
Q: Do you give price quotes?
We can give you a price quote on anything that we sell. Quotes are good for only 30 days after they are generated and can be for material or material and labor. You can talk to your salesperson for further details.
Q: What adhesive should I use for bathroom shower walls?
This really depends on what it is that you are installing. We would recommend Laticrete's #255 mortar. This is ideal for wall tile or vertical applications because of a "non-sag" additive that is in the material.
Q: What adhesive should I use for installing green marble?
Green marble is a very tricky stone. Most green stone is water sensitive and only epoxy ashesive should be used. We recommend using Laticrete's #300 epoxy adhesive for all applications.
Q: What size notch trowel should I use for 12 x 12 ceramic tile?
Using the correct trowel is important in every installation. We would recommend using a 1/4" x 3/8" square notch trowel.
Q: Why should SpectraLOCK –Pro Grout be used in showers?
Excellent question. Laticrete's epoxy grout is virtually stain and water resistant and never needs sealing! It has Microban, which is a mold fighter and inhibitor which helps keep water out and makes your shower or tub easier to clean.
Q: What size grout joint is best for shower walls?
Good question! The size of the joint depends on size and type of tile and width of grout joint that would be preferred. There really is no right or wrong but we would recommend on talking to one of our salespeople to help you make that decision. - See more at: //www.century-tile.com/designcenter/faq.aspx?Id=1&m=627#sthash.FYKsTYeD.dpuf
Q: Can carpet be quarter turned during installation?
This really is not recommended. Carpet needs to run in the same direction when it is installed so either the pattern on the "flow" of the carpet looks the same from one end of the room to the other.
Q: Can black grout be used with polished white tile or light colored?
It can be but some precautions need to be taken first. All grouts have pigment that can trap itself in "micro-pores" in the surface of the tile. We would recommend using Aqua Mix's Grout Release or Sealers Choice Gold to seal the surface before grouting. Once that's done you can grout without fear of damaging the surface of the tile.
Q: Are trims available to install laminate flooring on stairs?
All of our manufacturers make a vesion of stair nose that coordinate with the color of the flooring that you would like.
Q: How long does it take to order carpet?
Most carpet has to be shipped in directly from the mill and generally takes two to three business days once the required sizes are known.
Q: What consistency should grout be mixed to?
In most cases it should look and feel like creamy peanut butter.
Q: How much extra tile should be ordered to installing on diagonal?
We would recommend ordering 10-15% extra material to accomiadate for extra cuts around the perimeter of your installation.
Q: Should a lot of water be used to clean cement grout off tile?
No! This is a common mis-perception when trying to clean the surface as you install it. In fact, by using more water, you run the risk of "washing out" the color or pigment in the grout joint. Minimal water should be used to achieve the desired look that you want.
Q: Does Century have a product to rejuvenate color in natural stone tile?
We do! We sell Aqua Mix's Enrich N' Seal that can be applied to the surface of most slates and unpolsihed marbles to "rejuvinate" or bring back to life the color of the stone.
Q: Should all natural stone be sealed?
Absolutely! All stone, whether it is polished or unpolished, needs to be protected. We recommned using Aqua Mix's Sealers Choice Gold for all of these applications.
Q: Can Century bind carpet remnants?
We can. We can bind any carpet that we sell. We can quote it out for you based on what size you would like. It generally takes ten to fourteen business days to order and complete this.
Q: Should hardwood or laminate be allowed to acclimate to room temperature and humidity?
Absolutely! With the drastic change in temperatures that we experience here in Chicago, either of these products need to acclimate to the temperature that is in the room that it is to be installed in. It would be recommended to have the material in the room 48 hours before it is to be installed.
Q: Does Century have a cutter to cut 20” x 20” floor tiles on diagonal?
We do. We have ceramic cutters for all types of sizes of tile. We charge a deposit and a daily fee for most of our cutters but it would be advised that you call the store nearest you to make sure that we have the tools you need to complete your job first.
Q: Will a higher density carpet pad allow carpet to wear better?
It will. We offer a variety of recommended pads to go with most of our carpets. Typically the better the pad, the better the performance of the carpet. Should the pad of your carpet not be very good, the life expectancy of the carpet will go down.
Q: How can I handle the edging when putting ceramic tile on a counter top?
There are a number of patterns that we sell where there is counter top edging available. All of our displays show whether there is a piece available or not.
Q: Do you carry backsplash tiles?
A number of the patterns that we show would be great for backsplashes. There is no right or wrong tile to use here, but keep in mind that space is an issue and some tiles just might not work in such a tight space. All of our salespeople can help you find what best fits for you.
Q: How do we have the tile installed?
We offer installation or you can do the project yourself. We offer free installation seminars by “Pete the Pro” at all of our locations. Check the installation schedule at all of our stores under the "Pete the Pro" tab.
Q: Which is more durable, wood or laminate?
Both products are good in their own way. Laminate is more durable and good for families with children and pets but it can not be refinished like hardwood. Hardwood brings natural beauty and character to any room but might not be good in certain rooms with lots of traffic and moisture.
Q: What kind of tile is most durable?
Porcelain tile is the most durable product that we offer today. There are varying degrees of porcelain but all are superior to any ceramic that is currently made today.
Q: How do you clean ceramic tile?
Great question! It's very common mis-perception that buying any household cleaner at the grocery store will solve this problem. What most people don't know is that most of those cleaners have acids in them and can do more harm then good to the tile or grout. We recommend Aqua Mix’s Concentrated Tile and Grout Cleaner. It is a neutral PH cleaner and won't do any harm to the tile or grout and also won't leave any residue like the grocery store cleaners might do.
Q: What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic?
Ceramic is basically made of clay and was fired in a kiln and has a glaze fired on top of it. Porcelain is a harder much denser material that was initially introduced for mainly commercial settings. With the advent of technology getting better, almost all manufacturers produce porcelain since it is more cost effective easier to make. Even today, it is hard to tell the difference between the two.
Q: Does the color go all the way through the tile?
Color only goes through the entire body on "through body" porcelain tiles. What you see on top is what you see on the bottom.
Q: What is the difference between wall and floor tile?
Wall tiles are made with softer clay and not fired as hot as a floor tile would be thus giving us the shiny glazes that we see on a lot of wall tiles. These wouldnot be recommended for floors. Floor tile, on the other hand, can be used anywhere you want it to.
Q: Can I put ceramic over the top of vinyl?
It is possible depending on the condition of the exisiting tile and the sub floor, but we would recommend on talking to one of our salespeople first before starting. Every installation is different.
Q: Why can’t I use pre-mixed glue on ceramic floor tile?
Pre-mixed adhesives or mortars will not provide proper support for large body tiles and may allow the tiles to crack or release from the subfloor. Industry standards recommend any tile 6x6 and larger to be set in a mortar bed.
Q: Can I add glue to a self stick vinyl tile?
It is not recommended in any case. All manufacturers state that the glue on the back of the tile is sufficient. Should you do so you would void the manufacturer’s warranty.

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