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TILES BEST SUITED FOR THE OUTDOORS

Tile is a fantastic surface for outdoor areas like decks, patios and porches, as they are durable and easy to clean. Additionally, there is sure to be a design option that complements your home due to the large variety of tile options available.

Keep in mind though, that not all tiles are suitable for an outdoor tile installation. Your outdoor living area, like your porch or patio, will be exposed to all types of weather conditions, including wide ranging temperatures and frequent dampness. For this reason, you need to choose tiles that are particularly durable and water-resistant.

Which tiles are suitable for the outdoors? We have compiled a list of our favorites.

PORCELAIN

Floor rated porcelain tiles can typically resist the rigorous requirements of an outdoor tile installation. Porcelain is a strong, durable material that can withstand the effects of weather effectively.

However, not all porcelain floor tiles can work for both indoor and outdoor use. For instance, glossy tiles are not a good idea for outdoor flooring. This type of tile will become extremely slippery when wet and pose a serious safety risk for your family and friends. Rather look for tiles that are textured or matte as they offer better grip.

Note: Although porcelain is a form of ceramic, regular ceramic tiles shouldn’t be used for an outdoor tile installation. Ceramic of course has many advantages, including it being a healthy option and environmentally friendly. Regardless of this, it is typically not a good choice for usage outdoors.

SLATE

Slate is a popular option for tiling patios, decks, and porches for a good reason. The strength and water-resistant properties of slate are extraordinary. Unlike the slippery surface of natural stone in wet conditions, most slate tiles are suitably textured making them appropriate for outdoor use.

The large range of available colors is another benefit of slate. Homeowners assume that slate is dark gray or black, but it can actually also be found in shades of purple, green, orange, and even red.

One disadvantage of slate is that due to its hardness, it is also very brittle. Slate is susceptible to chipping when something heavy is dropped on the tiles.

GRANITE

Granite might be the hardest tile material available, second only to porcelain. It is undoubtedly harder compared to any other type of natural stone. Granite tiles are incredibly tough and durable. They are especially suited for areas that experience major seasonal weather fluctuations and harsh weather conditions.

You will be able to find a wide range of granite tile colors. Anything from white, red, and black, and most shades in between.
However, granite has some disadvantages when it comes to outdoor use. Granite tiles are rigorously polished during its manufacturing process. This makes them slippery when wet. In comparison to other tile varieties, granite is also relatively porous, requiring regular sealing to protect it from moisture damage and stains.

MARBLE

Marble has remained a time-honored home design choice that reflects sophistication and style, both indoors and out. Color choices in marble are numerous, which is great, and the distinctive veined appearance can turn your outdoor area into an art piece.
Marble is the hallmark of elegance.

Even though polished, smooth marble tiles are stylish, you should choose a finish that is slip resistant for outdoor use. Always put safety first during the planning of your next home remodeling project.

Similar to granite, marble is a bit porous. Regular resealing will be required to prevent wear and tear and water damage.

SOAPSTONE

Don’t be fooled by the name “soapstone”, as it certainly is not going to melt away during the first rainfall it encounters. On the contrary, soapstone is one of the best choices you can pick from this list.
Since soapstone is non-porous, it is waterproof and stain resistant. Furthermore, soapstone does not become slippery in wet conditions. It is an excellent choice for a tile installation around a swimming pool.
One of the best things about soapstone is that it can handle any kind of weather conditions that mother nature can throw at it. Weather extremes will not affect soapstone in any way.

CEMENT

Cement is seen as dull, drab or even ugly, but this is not necessarily true. For a fraction of the cost of other tiling options, cement tiles can be manufactured to resemble natural stone or porcelain. Actually, if you look hard enough, you can get cement tiles in nearly any pattern or texture of your choice.
Weather, season changes and heavy foot traffic are also no match for durable and reliable cement. It does not get slippery when wet, which is another bonus.
Cement’s sole disadvantage is that it needs to be resealed every few years to remain in great condition, much like marble and granite.

BENEFITS OF TILE TO UPGRADE YOUR HOME

Your patio, deck or other outdoor living space remodeling project can greatly benefit from the beauty and convenience that tiles have to offer. There are such a vast variety of tiling options available that it’s simple to find the perfect tiles that suit your home’s style and improve the overall appeal of your home.
Are you planning your next home improvement project? AF Quality Builders would love to get involved.
Our expert tile installers at AF Quality Builders have years of experience working with homeowners on their renovation projects. As tile contractors we specialize in tile installation, repair and replacement and many areas, including:

Various outdoor living areas like decks, porches, patios, and steps

  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens

Let us assist you with your unique custom designs. Get in touch with us to request an onsite consultation. We will assist you with choosing the best options for your particular requirements and preferences.

Contact AF Quality Builders to set up your free at home consultation today.

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How To Choose Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles

Although porcelain and ceramic tiles are both great tile options to use, for the layman it can be challenging to tell the two apart.
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made from clay and baked in a kiln. Porcelain tiles are made from fine kaolin clay, which is quite dense. This type of tile requires it to be fired at a high temperature for a lengthy time. Ceramic tiles are made from coarse clay, are less dense and require a shorter firing time.
We have compiled a summary highlighting the main differences.

Appearance: Recent technological advances have given porcelain tiles a distinct advantage over ceramic times. This advantage is the ability for porcelain tiles to be produced to closely resemble other flooring material. Ceramic tiles are available in solid and patterned colors, but porcelain can be made to look like granite, marble, or even like wood grains.

Waterproof: Porcelain tends to be harder, which makes it less porous and more water resistant. Porcelain is the better option to use in typically wet environments, like sinks and showers. Porcelain is a great option to use for your next bathroom remodeling.
Heatproof: Ceramic and porcelain tiles both offer high heat resistance, making them a fantastic choice to use on countertops. When you are considering the best choice for your outdoor areas, porcelain comes out on top, due to their superior water-resistant properties.

Tile installation: As tile installers will tell you, ceramics tend to be easier to install. If you want to do a tiling DIY project, we recommend that you go with ceramics. When making use of professional tile contractors you can confidently go with porcelain, as tilers have all the necessary tools to perform precise cuts on porcelain.
Durability: Due to its structure, porcelain is generally more durable. The tile is heavier and harder than ceramic because it is fired at higher temperatures. Glazed ceramic tiles also have an impressive lifespan, but in high traffic areas, it’s better to go with porcelain.

Maintenance: Both types are easy to keep clean. Nothing more than regular mopping with a damp cloth is required for either tile option. Porcelain tiles have a solid color throughout, which makes chips or small damages less obvious. With glazed ceramic tiles, damages are easier to spot as there may be a color difference underneath the glaze.

Longevity: Porcelain tiles in general have better longevity and are more wear and tear resistant, due to their dense and hard structure. Keep in mind though that this structure also means that they lack flexibility, causing them to crack easier, especially during structural shifting. As stated by The Spruce, ceramic tiles can have a lifespan of between 75 and 100 years if they are cared for and maintained properly. Although ceramic tiles are naturally softer than porcelain tiles, they tend to be more resistant to cracking.

Cost: In general, ceramic tiles are less expensive compared to porcelain tiles, except for some top-quality ceramic tiles that are priced like porcelain tiles. Prices can vary according to your preferred brand and design.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are perfectly suitable for floor, wall, or a backsplash tile installation. You can decide which option will work best for you, based on price, design, or durability. At AF Quality Builders we take great pride in our ability to assist you in finding the ideal tile for your new home or home renovation project.
Contact the friendly and professional team at AF Quality Builders today for all your tiling needs.

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HOW TO PREVENT YOUR TILE FLOOR FROM CRACKING

A beautiful tile floor can quickly lose its allure if tiles start to lift or crack. You want to be sure that the tile floor you have invested in has been installed correctly, looks good and will last for many years to come. When you start noticing cracks in your beautiful floor, this can be very disappointing.
Cracking of tile floors is a serious issue for many homeowners.  Let’s explore the reasons why tile flooring cracks, lifts, and breaks and see what can be done to prevent it.

Why Do Tile Floors Crack?
Tile fractures can occur for many reasons. The first is the obvious reason, cracks that occur when heavy items fall on them. Sometimes tile starts to crack when it must support extremely heavy furniture or appliances. More often though, cracks appear due to a substandard installation or through insufficient care.
Whether you are in a newly built property, recently renovated house or an established home, the reason why tiles break can vary greatly. These are some of the most common reasons why tiles tend to crack:

  • Poor Subfloor Preparation: Without the right foundation preparation, nothing can stand properly. The subfloors serve as the foundation for your tile floors. Your tiles may fracture if your subfloor is not prepared with the proper care. Subfloors may have been left uneven or still have large traces of dirt and debris on the surface that remained there during the tile installation process.
  • Concrete Settlement: Concrete is a porous substance and absorbs water. As the temperature changes, the floor expands and contracts. Tile on the other hand is hard and unyielding. It does not mimic the subfloor’s natural movement. Tiles are adhered to the concrete but lack flexibility which can then result in cracking as the concrete settles. This is preventable by following the correct tiling processes.
  • Control Joints: Concrete is inclined to crack and for this reason it is often poured with premade cracks already in place. These prepared cracks are called control joints. Control joints prevent any potential fractures from affecting the entire foundation. A crack will stop once it reaches the control joint. Additionally, this enables homeowners to monitor any cracks in their concrete.
    Tiles that are laid over a control joint, are in fact laid over a specifically weakened area. This will cause them to break quite easily. Again, by following due process, this should never happen.
  • Concrete not properly cured: After being poured, concrete needs time to cure. The concrete shrinks as it cures, due to water evaporation. When tiles are laid too soon, without allowing enough time for the concrete to properly cure, the concrete shrinks and causes the tiles to break. (Keep this in mind when using a concrete leveler to level the floors).
  • Incorrectly sized tile expansion joints: You may have wondered why there are grout spaces between tiles. The reason behind these spaces is to accommodate shifting and movement. Tile is rigid and requires space to move when the underlying concrete moves. If tiles are laid too closely together with expansion joints that allow too little room for movement, the tiles will crack as and when the subfloor shifts.
  • Substantial mold presence:  Mold causes many adverse effects on a house, including the ability to crack your tiles. Your grout can become moist, which encourages the growth of mold. Mold thrives in dark and damp places, therefore if growth continues unabated, it can get under your tiles. This can eventually lead to the lifting and subsequent cracking of your tiles.What Can Be Done to Prevent Tile Cracking
    As you may have concluded at this point, the leading cause of tile damage is due to incorrect preparation and installation. To prevent costly mistakes, it would be in your best interest to hire qualified tile contractors to ensure the longevity of your tile floors. Let tile experts take care of the floor preparation and tile installation so you can enjoy the beauty of your tile floors for longer.Prevention Through Thorough Pre-Installation
    Preparing your surface properly before installation is the most proactive approach to avoid tile floor fractures. A professional team should initially level the subfloor. There are a number of techniques to accomplish this, but the two most popular methods are installing plywood or using a leveler.Once floors have been properly leveled and given the time to cure, the next step is the cleaning process. Any debris left behind can cause tiles to crack, therefore it is very important to properly clean the floor before tilers can go ahead with the installation. Concrete floors need to be vacuumed, mopped, and scrubbed.
    Never adhere tiles straight onto a plywood or cement surface, regardless of their cleanliness. An anti-fracture membrane should be installed between tile and subfloor. Anti-fracture membranes serve the specific purpose of aiding in crack prevention. It absorbs energy that can lead to cracking and redistributes it over a larger area, lessening the burden on single tiles and effectively preventing cracking.

    Prevention Through Post-Installation Care
    After the completion of your tile floor by a professional tiler, maintenance and cleaning will assist in extending its lifespan and prevent cracks or other problems. Make use of professional tile and grout cleaning services to aid in longevity. Let a professional tile contractor remove mold, fix cracks, restore grout, or replace broken tiles.
    To stop mold from growing, spreading and lifting your tiles, make sure to regularly clean your grout and tiles. You can consider the option of sealing your grout, which will protect its pores.

    Professional Prevention of Tile Damage
    The best way to prevent damage to tile floors is to make sure you choose knowledgeable and experienced tile contractors for all new tile installation projects. Our team at AF Quality Builders are ready to assist you with all your tiling requirements. We can take care of your new tile installation requirements and we will do it right the first time. We offer a variety of tile services, including new tile floor installations and grout and tile restoration. We will make sure your tile is taken care of so you can enjoy your lovely floors for years to come.
    For more details and information on how we can assist in keeping your floor properly maintained, refer to our grout and tile cleaning services. Contact AF Quality Builders when you are ready for a professionally placed tile floor, or if you need assistance with damaged tiles. We will provide you with advice and a free in-home quotation and demo.

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Your Bathroom Floor and the Right Tile Installation

Outfitting your bathroom is more than just focusing on your choice of wall tiles but also the right combination of colors to complement those walls with floor tiles. Bathroom remodeling contractors in Long Grove know that you can change the character of your bathroom space with contrasting colors for your wall and floor tiles.

Going with a bright floor tile installation in Long Grove puts an airy and clean feeling into the space. It can also be a good combination with lighter wall tiles, especially in a confined bathroom space. However, you may need to avoid the sterility that a completely white bathroom can have by adding wooden features. Put some wooden furniture and accessories into your bathroom remodeling in Long Grove, and any space can do with some plants or natural materials to make it cozier.

What about dark flooring for the bathroom? It will definitely offer a modern flair to your bathroom remodel. When planned out correctly, dark flooring can work well in any space regardless of size. Dark floors present a nice canvas to bring out some unique features you would like to highlight like an interesting bathtub or shower stall. You can also create a glamourous atmosphere by including gold or silver elements on top of your dark floors and walls to enhance your bathroom into more of a spa. There is a drawback to a dark tile installation, as it does require more frequent cleaning than white tiles since every spec will show.

Getting the Most Style from your Bathroom Tiles
When dealing with a minimalist or monochromatic environment, you can pick the features you want to have pop with bold color choices. Go with contrasting colors, interesting textures, LED lighting, and grand accessories for your bathroom remodeling in Long Grove. Think about keeping the original tile on one wall or an area of the floor as part of a decorative announcement that enhances the proportions of the space. Bathroom remodeling contractors in Long Grove enjoy working with mosaic, tiles that bring in Asian or Moroccan accents to a neutral background. But use them in moderation, as these intense designs can be overwhelming when there is too much.

Deciding on how to complete the decorative finish of your walls and floors during a bathroom remodeling in Long Grove, try not to go over the top and stay consistent with your choice of features and accessories. You can achieve more against a background of decorative tiles with the simplicity of a white washbasin that features classic shapes rather than a colorful modern design. You will find that the minimalism it introduces does not vie for the attention that a bold wall pattern demands. Contact our bathroom remodeling contractors in Long Grove for help in choosing the perfect tiles that will complete your bathroom renovation in the right style. Contact us at: https://tilesandremodeling.com/contacts/

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What is a Tile Backsplash?

Backsplashes are traditionally the area that fills the gaps in a kitchen or bathroom wall between the countertop and the cabinets, spanning the length of the countertop. Typically, these range between smaller patches of backsplash directly above a sink to the pre-2000s mosaic-type backsplashes that many times matched the kitchen flooring.

When executed properly, current tile backsplashes can provide an excellent feature in one of the most trafficked rooms of a home, adding style to a space with interesting design patterns, colors, and textures. Ideally, backsplashes can be installed at the exact same time as the countertop but can also be a separate DIY or professional project whenever you choose to execute it.

What tiles work best for a backsplash?
Cement, stone, marble, ceramic, glass, and even porcelain are all traditional styles for the backsplashes of today.

Selecting the best tile for a backsplash depends greatly upon personal preference and as well as a disposition to experiment with new ideas. That being said, there are a few things worth knowing during your search for your home’s dream tile.

One element that should be fully understood prior to backsplash installation is that the prices of  tiles vary greatly.  Tiles are priced by the square foot and costs may vary greatly depending on the material type. Certain materials (such as marble) are generally more expensive than others, but if you shop smart and carefully, you can achieve a similar look for a price that’s comfortable for you and your budget. Below are some suggestions to consider when shopping for a backsplash for your home:

Marble look: A glazed porcelain tile, with high gloss coated over its surface for shine is an excellent option to mimic the look of expensive marble.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles: These tile types provide many options to transform your kitchen from traditional to contemporary. The endless options and designs mean you are very likely to encounter a tile that suits you style and makes your kitchen unique.
Natural stone and stainless steel: These materials can provide incredible warmth in your kitchen space. When utilized together, these materials can create unique looks.

Mosaic tile: Mosaic tile packs are available in smaller patterns and seem as though they offer incredible impact and value.  This is a relatively simple way to convert your kitchen space into a work of art, depending on the materials used.

Sheet glass: Sheet glass is a newer trend that is gaining popularity as a excellent backsplash material for kitchens. Sheet glass is both incredibly easy to clean and quite low maintenance, which are especially added values in an area of the home that experiences to many splashes and spills.  Glass can also brighten your space and compliment a variety of styles.

Wood: Although wood is not a common backsplash, and although it can be utilized to create a rustic aesthetic, if not sealed, treated, and cared for properly, it can be considerably less functional and may damage quickly.

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How To Choose The Right Backsplash Tile For Your Quartz Countertop

So you have settled with your chosen quartz countertop. The next question is what backsplash tile to choose for a complementing design. It can either be exciting or overwhelming to choose. Aside from the design, you need to consider its level of protection, durability, and other features. This blog post simplifies what you need to know in choosing the right backsplash tile for your countertop to make your bathroom remodeling a complete success. Read on to know more!

If you have not considered this yet, it is noteworthy to know that choosing your countertop is a priority above anything else, especially for full-blown bathroom refinishing works. Your would-be countertop has a more lasting effect on your everyday use. They are harder to replace and more costly to purchase, so you want to make sure you are choosing your countertop right before the rest of your kitchen or bathroom features. Once you have chosen the countertop, the right backsplash will come to you.
Choose The Right Backsplash Our designers at AF Quality Builders understand that a beautiful backsplash is more than its stunning design. It protects the walling of your kitchen and makes cleanups easier. We can help you with your options and suggest some styles, patterns, and textures according to your style while making sure that they would blend in well with the rest of the room. Consult us today!