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The kitchen remodel is creeping along. We have discovered that even hiring out most of the project to the Lowe’s remodeling team does not mean that we can escape the fact that the last 10% of all remodeling projects seems to take 90% of the time. At this stage of the kitchen renovation, it is a joint venture of paid projects and DIY.  We are playing a game of project ping-pong with Lowe’s.  I serve the ball to them, and they complete their tasks. They lob it back over the net to us, and it is our turn to work. With this pattern firmly established,  we all stay on task. Last week, when the ball was back on our side of the table, I completed the cement tile backsplash
but what if I want to use a contrasting or dark grout? using a contrasting or dark grout isn’t impossible, however, it will require GREAT CARE. your installer will need to be extra careful with applying his grout release. next, a test patch should first be attempted to insure that the grout release and the contractor’s application is working. if not, he may need to either finger grout- using his finger to fill the joints, or use a grout bag to assist filling the joints. either procedure will insure that the dark grout stays off the tile surface. but they obviously take a great deal of skill and care.
To prevent staining, it is advisable to seal concrete tile surfaces with a penetrating sealer before grouting. This will also make it easier to spread the grout and assist in cleanup. To provide Lasting protection from environment elements and stains V-SEAL Concrete Sealers, in partnership with Villa Lagoon Tile, have introduced a sealing process specifically engineered for encaustic cement tile, learn more.
 It is expected that 2%-3% of your tile arrives damaged (chipped or scratched), since our tiles are primarily handmade, hand picked and hand packed exposing the product to breakage, therefore slight surface issues are standard. The best practice is to order at least 10% more than your project requirements to cover allow for these issues, as well as other breakage during installation.
why do you caution against using permacolor grouts? Permacolor grouts are the newest iteration of grout development. it’s really great for color-fast qualities, however everything that makes it color fast is a demon to your beautiful cement tiles. first, the grout is colored with more intense pigments that will stain any unglazed stone, cement or unglazed tile. second, it is fast drying and less viscous than standard grouts and therefore there is a greater possibility of leaving a grout film. should grout film develop on your installation, it is generally irreparable.
if clé cement tiles are pre-polished and pre-sealed, why do I have to use a grout release? clé is pleased to offer cement tiles that are pre-polished and pre-sealed. if you have witnessed the difference in cement tiles without this hand-rubbed finish, you know that clé cement tiles’ smooth finish helps our tiles through transportation blemishes and the first stages of installation care. HOWEVER, grouts are very problematic to cement tiles and taking extra care against staining is essential to success. please be sure to ALWAYS use grout release.
To prevent staining, it is advisable to seal concrete tile surfaces with a penetrating sealer before grouting. This will also make it easier to spread the grout and assist in cleanup. To provide Lasting protection from environment elements and stains V-SEAL Concrete Sealers, in partnership with Villa Lagoon Tile, have introduced a sealing process specifically engineered for encaustic cement tile, learn more.
This series of solid-colored encaustic tiles was created so that there’s always something to perfectly coordinate with any patterned encaustic. Use encaustic black cement tiles alone to make a monochromatic statement or mix and match with other solids and patterns to design a unique room. Even the solid colors of these wall and floor tiles will have natural variation and interest because they are hand mixed before being poured.

I used them in this kitchen, above, that was installed in a 1920’s Spanish style renovation. It is still one of my favorites. Note: the floor tiles weren’t properly sealed the first time (if at all, I don’t remember and it wasn’t my contractor) so they got really dirty really fast. I had to have them professionally scrubbed and then resealed but they definitely still had a lot of wear from those couple days of no-sealant days. It actually looks great because its an old house but if you had a new house you might not be so into it.

At Zia Tile, our goal is to deliver perfect handmade encaustic cement tile to every project. We work with designers, contractors, developers, and DIY homeowners nationwide on projects of all sizes. We manufacture standard 8” x 8” handmade encaustic cement tile and can customize colors or designs to suit any style. Our cement tiles are handmade by artisans on 3 continents with generations of experience in producing encaustic cement tiles with lasting quality and beauty.
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