FAQs

 

ORDERING NATURAL STONE TILES

How do I measure my backsplash?

Whether your space is sleek, classic or cozy your backsplash can be the centerpiece of your kitchen or bathroom. Some people like to tile from their bench top to the base of the cabinets above, while others extend their backsplash all the way to the ceiling. Whatever your preference, measure the height of your backsplash area in inches. Next, measure its length in inches. Multiply the height by length, then divide by 144 to obtain the square footage you'll need. If you'd like to tile additional areas, such as a panel above your range, measure these separately and add them to your total. 

Please remember that not all mosaic sheets are 1 square foot, so be sure to read the product information before you place your order, and make sure to read the section on overage, below, to ensure you order enough tile.

How do I measure my border?

Moldings and borders can create effective definition between features such as backsplashes and the walls that surround them. If you'd like to use a border, measure it in linear feet. To do this, measure the height of your backsplash area in inches. Next measure its length and add them together. Finally, divide by 12 to obtain the linear footage you'll need. 

Please remember that not all border tiles are 12 inches long, so be sure to read the product information before you place your order, and make sure to read the section on overage, below, to ensure you order enough tile.  

How do I measure my bathroom or kitchen?

Calculating the tiles you'll need to complete your project is as simple as measuring each wall or floor, one by one. Measure the first wall from top to bottom in inches. Next, measure from side to side in inches. Multiply these values, then divide by 144 to obtain the square footage you'll need. Simply repeat this process until you have measured every surface to be tiled. 

Make sure to read the section on overage, below, to ensure you order enough tile.  

How much overage should I include?

Overage is the extra amount of tile needed to make sure you're covered in case of breakage or miscalculation. Imagine your room is a simple square 20 sq.f. Allowing 15% overage you'd order an extra 3 sq.f, for a total of 23 sq. f, and feel secure you'll have enough tile to complete the job. But what if your room is not a basic square? A simple rule of thumb is the more complex your room, the more overage you'll need. A room with more than four corners, or walls of differing heights, will require 20% overage, and a really complicated room will need 30%. 

Calculating overage for borders is simple. Please allow one extra piece per corner of your border. 

If you're not sure, play it safe. Having a few left over tiles is far more economical than ordering a new shipment of tiles, and may be a very welcome resource if a tile becomes damaged, even years into the future.

What if my tile arrives damaged?

At TileBuys we adhere to strict quality control processes, triple-checking each tile and packaging each order carefully before shipping. As tiles are dispatched, ownership transfers to the buyer. Occasionally tiles may be damaged during transport, and it is important to open and carefully inspect your entire shipment when it arrives. If you detect any damage, we are here to help. Any damage must be reported to TileBuys in writing, within 72 hours of receipt, and any discrepancies must be marked on your Bill of Lading. TileBuys will process your freight claim with the carrier on your behalf, if you'd like us to, however we can't be responsible for the outcome of your claim.

 

INSTALLATION 

Are there any tricks to installing natural stone tiles?

The beauty of stone lies in its natural variations. Before you get started, be sure to lay out your tiles to ensure proper blending of the subtle shifts in color and veining found in your tile. 

Should I seal my natural stone tiles?

Yes, natural stone must be sealed to maintain its beauty.

What grout and sealer should I use?

It sounds crazy, but we just can't recommend particular setting materials. This is because the weather has a big impact on the best grouts and sealers to use in different regions across the country and the world. Check with a local installer. They will know what materials work best in your area.

 

NATURAL STONE MAINTENANCE

How do I care for my natural stone tiles?

Marble and other natural stone can be swept, mopped and vacuumed, just like any other surface. You can also use a natural stone cleaner to keep your tiles looking flawless for life. We recommend a pH-neutral stone cleaner. All brands vary, so please follow the manufacturer's instructions.

 1. Carefully Choose the Selection

Many natural stones are offered in various selections, which means that the aesthetics can vary greatly. For example, these two materials may have the same name, but you’ll notice that one selection has a pure background and desirable color, while the other selection is more muddled in appearance, with less desirable color. When selecting a natural stone, make sure that the selection you choose is the right one for your project.

2. Understand the Grade of the Material

Natural stones vary when it comes to the grade of the material. The grade refers to the soundness of the stone, which is an indicator of the ease with which the material can be fabricated and installed. A Grade A material will have fewer cracks, fissures and veins, while a Grade B, C or D material will be more likely to have cracks and fissures, which will be factory-filled with resin or cement. Asking about the grade will help you – or your client – know what to expect with each material.

3. View the Stone.

Buying a sample allows you to view the product prior to purchasing.  Natural stone will vary in color naturally.  Just because your small sample is Pure white, does not mean every chip will be that exact color.  The variations of natural stones color is where the true beauty lies.  Take the time to lay out your natural stone tiles to get the variation and patterns exactly how you like them.  Although it is not necessary some people find that lining up veins and different color tones is really rewarding!  Remember that the grout color you choose will be a HUGE determining factor to the overall appearance of your project when its complete.

4. Quality Manufacturing.

Our high-quality material is one that has been manufactured with care and technical expertise, and has gone through a triple point quality control process.

Defining Quality  

How we produce high-quality natural stone tile is by focusing on the following:

i. Dimensional consistency

This means that we have made the dimensions consistent from piece to piece; Our chips are triple inspected, we are the true craftsman when it comes to manufacturing tile. 

ii. Squareness of tile & beveling

Our QC team ensures that each tile Subway tile, random strip and other linear mosaics are cut at a true 90 degree angles and have a consistent, beveled edge.  You won’t find better quality anywhere.  

iii. Range Selection

Since all natural stone varies from piece to piece, we never mix lots.  When you order from tilebuys lot consistency is our promise.

 

Things to know when buying natural stone for your home.

i. Resin & Fissures

Most natural stone has inherent cracks and fissures; this is perfectly normal. Resin makes the stone far more stable, which will make the material more resistant to breaking and will enable the material to take on a better polish.

These tips should help you get the most out of your stone purchase. And remember; always inspect the materials at the project site prior to installation to make sure the materials meet your expectations. And always seal natural stone prior to use.

Recommendations for the use of cleaning and maintenance products are included in this document as a convenience to the reader. The suggestions regarding product application are a guide in the use of the products and are not a guarantee of their performance. This document and the information provided herein, including any reference to products, is provided “as is”, without any warranty or implied term of any kind. TileBuys specifically disclaims any responsibility or liability relating to the use of the suggested products and shall under no circumstances whatsoever, be liable for damages of any nature resulting from the use of or reliance upon information from this website or the products to which the information refers.

 

A comprehensive care and maintenance program is just as important as the

initial material selection. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll want to be aware of the

care and maintenance requirements before you select a material. If you are an

architect or designer, you’ll want to know this information prior to specifying

a material. It is strongly recommended that you provide this information to

your client.  A comprehensive care and maintenance plan helps ensure longterm

satisfaction with a material choice. These recommendations are based on those from The Marble Institute of America.This document covers the general guidelines on how to care for materials based on application.

 

Cleaning Natural Stone Products

 

As a general rule of thumb, whenever a spill occurs, immediately

blot the spill with a paper towel. Don’t wipe the area; it will spread the spill.

Flush the area with plain water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent. Rinse

several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Do not use products

that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Do not

use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may

scratch the surface.

 

 

Application-specific cleaning instructions

 

FLOORING APPLICATIONS

 

Dust interior floors frequently using a clean, dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit

do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats

or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt

and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat

or rug is a non-slip surface. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn -- the

metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface

 

BATHROOM APPLICATIONS

 

In the bath basin or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a

squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum

remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a

gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually

dull the surface of the stone.

 

 

VANITIES & OTHER COUNTERTOPS

 

Vanity tops may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your

installer for recommendations. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing

automobile paste wax can be applied to minimize water spotting.

 

KITCHEN APPLICATIONS

 

All natural stone used for kitchen countertop applications must be regularly

maintained and resealed to prevent staining. Always use a neutral detergent to

clean marble countertops.

 

EXTERIOR POOL + PATIO APPLICATIONS

 

In outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clean water and use a mild

bleach solution to remove algae or moss.

 

 

Identifying A Stain 

 

Staining refers to the residual effect of a spill that cannot be removed with

dishwashing detergent. Identifying the source of the stain is the key to

removing it. If you don’t know what caused the stain, ask the following

questions to help identify the source: Where is the stain located? Is it near a

plant, a food service area, an area where cosmetics are used? What color is

it? What is the shape or pattern? What goes on in the area around the stain?

Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning

product or household chemical. Deep-seated or stubborn stains may require

using a poultice or consulting with a professional.

 

The following sections describe the types of stains you may encounter and

how to appropriately treat them without damaging the surface of the stone.

 

OIL-BASED

 

(grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics)

An oil-based stain will darken the stone. Generally oil must be chemically

dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed or rinsed away. Clean

gently with a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach OR household detergent OR

ammonia OR mineral spirits OR acetone.

 

ORGANIC

 

(coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, paper, food, urine, leaves, bark, bird droppings)

May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the

stain has been removed. Outdoors, with the sources removed, normal sun

and rain action will generally bleach out the stains. Indoors, clean with 12%

hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia.

 

METAL

 

(iron, rust, copper, bronze)Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and follow the shape of the staining object such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flower pots, metal furniture. Copper and bronze stains appear as green or muddy-brown and result from the action of moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper brass items. Metal stains must be removed with a poultice. Deep-seated, rusty stains are extremely difficult to remove and the stone may be permanently stained.

BIOLOGICAL

(algae, mildew, lichens, moss, fungi)Clean with diluted (1/2 cup in a gallon of water) ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT EVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH! THIS

COMBINATION CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS! 

 

INK

 

(magic marker, pen, ink) Clean with bleach or hydrogen peroxide (light-colored stone only!) or lacquer thinner or acetone (dark stones only!)

 

PAINT

 

Small amounts can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off

carefully with a razor blade. Heavy paint coverage should be removed only

with a commercial “heavy liquid” paint stripper available from hardware

stores and paint centers. These strippers normally contain caustic soda or

lye. Do not use acids or flame tools to strip paint from stone. Paint strippers

can etch the surface of the stone; re-polishing may be necessary.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use of these products, taking

care to flush the area thoroughly with clean water. Protect yourself with

rubber gloves and eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area. Use

only wood or plastic scrapers for removing the sludge and curdled paint.

Normally, latex and acrylic paints will not cause staining. Oil-based paints,

linseed oil, putty, caulks and sealants may cause oily stains. Refer to the

section on oil-based stains.

WATER SPOTS AND RINGS

(surface accumulation of hard water) Buff with dry (0000 grit) steel wool. FIRE AND SMOKE DAMAGE Older stones and smoke or fire stained fireplaces may require a thorough

cleaning to restore their original appearance. Commercially available “smoke removers” may save time and effort.

 

 

EFFLORESCENCE 

(film on surface of the material) Materials that are exposed to moisture may, over time, develop a white or dark film on the surface. Efflorescence in natural stone is caused by water carrying

mineral salts from below the surface of the stone rising to the exposed face. In porcelain tile efflorescence appears on the surface of grout joints or unglazed. Tiles and is caused by moisture reacting with impurities in the mortar.

 

SOLUTION

 

• For natural stone, if the installation is new, dust mop or vacuum the

powder. You may have to do this several times. Do not use water to

remove the powder; it will only temporarily disappear. If the problem

persists, contact your installer to help identify and remove the cause

of the moisture.

 

• For porcelain tile and natural stones with a minimal acid sensitivity

rating, use Fila Deterdeck to clean the tiles.

Scratching (scratch marks and abrasions appear on the surface)

Light scratching occurs over time with exposure to sand and other abrasives.

The finish will patina or dull over time as a result of this scratching.

 

SOLUTION

 

• If a material with a low abrasion resistance is used, use walk-off mats

at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

 

• Always use a cutting board for countertop applications.

• Slight surface scratches may be buffed with dry lowest grit (0000

grit) steel wool.

 

• Deeper scratches and nicks in the surface of the stone should be

repaired and re-polished by a professional.

 

All materials – natural materials in particular – are perfectly imperfect.

Materials will have a wide range of characteristics (i.e. factory-repaired holes, cracks and  ssures). There will be variation from piece to piece. Materials will stain, scratch, etch, patina and/or ef oresce. And there’s no such thing as a “perfect” installation.

ALL OF THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND IS PART OF THE INHERENT BEAUTY OF THE MATERIALS; THESE ARE NOT MATERIAL DEFECTS.

 

Our goal is to minimize surprises and help set realistic expectations. Our experience tells us that when clients know exactly what to expect, they are perfectly satis ed with their materials after installation. When they haven’t been properly educated about what to expect, they perceive many characteristics as defects. This guide is designed to help you – the architect, designer, contractor, sub-contractor or client – understand and appreciate these inherent characteristics.

 

• Acid etching

Surface erosion of natural stone.

 

• Cracking

Tiles are cracking following installation.

 

• Efflorescence

A white or dark  lm appears on the surface of a material, generally found in exterior applications or wet areas.

 

• Factory-filled holes

 Factory-Repaired Cracks + fissures

 

 • Lip-page

The  poor appears to be uneven after installation.

 

• Picture-framing

There appears to be a halo around the edge of the stone.

 

• Scratching

Scratch marks and abrasions appear on the surface of the material.

 

• Staining

There are wine, oil or grout stains on the surface of the stone.

• SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR NATURAL STONE

Do full research before buying Natural stone.  Know that your getting a piece of nature and it needs to be cared for like any wood surface.

• SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR GLASS TILE.

IT’S CRITICAL TO KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT WITH GLASS TILE PRIOR TO INSTALLATION

The stone appears to have a crack running across the surface, though it is smooth to the touch.

 

 

Material considerations

ACID ETCHING

Surface erosion of natural stone.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

Cracking

Marble, travertine, limestone and onyx will react to acidic foods (i.e. lemons or tomatoes) and acidic liquids (i.e. some cleaners or acid rain). This reaction will result in a dulling in surface sheen and change in texture, otherwise referred to as “acid etching”.

• If etching is a concern, select a material with a Minimally Sensitive acid resistance rating, such as a quartzite.

• If etching is a concern, specify a light, honed surface which diminishes the visibility of acid etching.

• To remove an acid stain from a polished stone surface, use Fila Marble Restorer.

 A split in the surface of the tile or slab.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

All hard surfaces are prone to cracking, but steps can be taken to minimize the likelihood of cracking and to ensure the longevity of the installation. Cracks in  ooring applications are typically due to material being installed on an uneven sub- oor, the sub- oor shifting after installation, or due to the material not being able to withstand the traf c conditions in the space.

• A proper setting speci cation is imperative. For setting speci cations, adhere to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, glass and Stone Tile Installation and the MIA Handbook for all other stone installations and their allowable tolerances. Refer to these trade manuals for information pertaining to anti-fracture membranes, etc.

 2 of 12 - material considerations

Material considerations

 Efflorescence

A white or dark  lm appears on the surface of a material, generally found in exterior applications or wet areas.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 Materials that are exposed to moisture may, over time, develop a white or dark  lm on the surface. Ef orescence in natural stone is caused by water carrying mineral salts from below the surface of the stone rising to the exposed face. In porcelain tile ef orescence appears on the surface of grout joints or unglazed tiles and is caused by moisture reacting with impurities in the mortar.

 

• Choose a material that is suitable for wet areas. Refer to the Usage guide.

 

• For natural stone, if the installation is new, dust mop or vacuum the powder. You may have

to do this several times. Do not use water to remove the powder; it will only temporarily disappear. If the problem persists, contact your installer to help identify and remove the cause of the moisture.

 

• For porcelain tile and natural stones with a Minimally Sensitive acid resistance rating, use Fila Deterdeck to clean the tiles.

Factory-filled holes

Holes in the stone appears to have been  lled with some kind of putty that is discolored.

 

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 

3 of 12 - material considerations

Factories will often  ll especially porous materials such as Basalt or Travertine with resin or cement. Exposure to UV rays in exterior applications will change the color of resin.

 

• Expect to see factory- lled holes in materials rated as Highly Absorbent as well as any Basalt or Travertine. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

 

• If factory- ll is a concern, choose an un lled material as an alternative.

 

• Do not use resin- lled material outside, as the resin will discolor over time. If materials must be  lled for an exterior application, choose cement- lled as an alternative.

  

Material considerations

 

LIPPAGE

 Factory-Repaired Cracks + fissures

The stone appears to have a crack running across the surface, though it is smooth to the touch.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 CAUSE:

HELPFUL TIPS:

Some tile installations will show lip-page, or a difference in height from one installed tile to the next. This is often caused by uneven sub floors or improper installation. It’s important to note that all hard surfaces have allowable tolerances (i.e. a certain amount of lip-page is to be expected in every installation). Lighting schemes can either accentuate or diminish the appearance of lip-page. Lighting at oblique angles will make lip-page more visible.

Factories will repair natural breaks in the material prior to crating it for shipment. Slabs are infused with resin which reinforces the strength of the stone.

• Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and  assures in nearly any natural material. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

• Do not use resin- led material outside, as the resin will discolor over time. If materials must be  led for an exterior application, choose cement- lled as an alternative.

 The  oor appears to be uneven after installation.

• A proper setting specs cation is imperative. For setting specs cations, adhere to the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, glass and Stone Tile Installation and the MIA Handbook for all other stone installations and their allowable tolerances.

• Some patterns, such as a 50% off-set (or brick joint), accentuate the effects of material warpage and result in more lip-page.

  4 of 12 - material considerations

Material considerations

 LIPPAGE - Cont’d

• A running bond pattern (with the offset not exceeding 33%) as well as widening the grout joint will make lippage less noticeable, though it won’t eliminate it entirely.

                                                                                                                                                       BRICk JOINT RUNNINg BOND PATTERN

Picture-framing

There appears to be a halo around the edge of the stone.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 Materials with Moderately or Highly Absorbent ratings are prone to the pigment of the grout leaching in from the edge of the stone. This creates a halo, otherwise referred to as “picture-framing”.

• Always seal porous materials prior to grouting or use.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

  5 of 12 - material considerations

Material considerations

Staining

Wine, oil or grout

 Scratching

Scratch marks and abrasions appear on the surface.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 Light scratching occurs over time with exposure to sand and other abrasives. The  nish will patina or dull over time as a result of this scratching.

• •

• • •

Choose a material with a Moderate to High Abrasion Resistance rating.

If a material with a Low Abrasion Resistance rating is used, use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

Always use a cutting board for countertop applications.

Slight surface scratches may be buffed with dry lowest grit (0000 grit) steel wool.

Deeper scratches and nicks in the surface of the stone should be repaired and re-polished by a professional.

stains on the surface of the stone.

 6 of 12 - material considerations

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

Staining often occurs when the stone has high absorption rate and/or it has not been properly sealed. Staining is the residual effect of a spill that cannot be removed with dishwashing detergent.

• Choose a material with a Minimally Absorbent rating.

• Always seal stone prior to use.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

• For more detailed instructions on removing a stain, see the Care + Maintenance guide.

  

Material considerations

 VARIATION

Materials vary in appearance from original sample and from piece to piece upon installation.

CAUSE: HELPFUL TIPS:

 As with any natural material, no two pieces of natural stone will be exactly alike. Color, as well as percentage, size and shape of markings, will always vary. Variation is not a material  aw.

• It is imperative that the end user understand the range for any given material. Prior to

These are generally larger pieces and give a better idea of the color and veining typically found in the material.

• Prior to installation, and particularly with materials that feature a wide range of variation, we strongly suggest laying out stone and blending the variations from different crates.

  7 of 12 - material considerations

Material considerations: setting expectations for natural stone

  It’s critical to know what to expect with natural stone prior to making a selection.

1. All natural stone has inherent characteristics; it is natural; and therefore always imperfect. (Or perfectly imperfect, depending upon your view.)

2. Some materials are easier to maintain than others. Be careful to consider these details prior to choosing your material. (Don’t worry – your sales rep will help you.)

3. The appearance of natural stone will always patina over time. Without exception.

4. All natural stone should be set properly, sealed and maintained. This requires a well-researched setting, sealing and maintenance speci cation in order to avoid surprises.

BASALT

GRANITE

Some granites have higher absorption and/or lower abrasion resistance than may be expected. Some granites are resin-treated to enhance the color and fortify the surface of the stone.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always check the absorption rating.

• Always check the abrasion resistance rating.

• Always seal this material prior to use.

• Do not use resin- lled material outside, as the resin will discolor over time.

• Fabricators will often need to resin-treat the exposed edges to match the surface of the material.

Basalt is a porous material with naturally-occurring holes that may remain un lled or be factory- lled with resin or cement. Basalt will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Do not use resin- lled material outside, as the resin will discolor over

time. Choose cement- lled or un lled materials as an alternative.

• Always seal this material prior to grouting or use.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

• To reduce the appearance of staining in kitchen countertop applications, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

  8 of 12 - material considerations: sETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR NATURAL STONE

Material considerations: setting expectations for natural stone

 LIMESTONE

All limestones will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. Most limestones have high absorption ratings and low abrasion resistance ratings. In general, light-colored limestone is dif cult to maintain in  ooring applications with heavier traf c, gray limestone tends to ef oresce in wet areas, and black limestone tends to show more scratching.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Do not use limestone for kitchen countertop applications.

• Always seal limestone prior to grouting or use.

• Always check the absorption rating.

• Always check the abrasion resistance rating. For limestone with a lower abrasion resistance rating, use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

• To reduce the appearance of etching in kitchen countertop applications, choose a honed, white marble with a low-moderate absorption rating.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

• Always use a neutral detergent to clean marble.

• Always check the abrasion resistance rating. For marble with a lower abrasion resistance rating, use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

• If acid etching is an issue, choose a material with minimal acid sensitivity rating, such as quartzite or granite.

• Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and  ssures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

ONYX

All onyx will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons

or tomatoes. Most onyx has a moderate absorption rating and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. All onyx has a very low abrasion resistance rating; it will scratch, stun and crack. All onyx has naturally occurring cracks and  ssures.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Onyx must be handled with extreme care in both fabrication

and installation.

• Onyx is suitable for interior wall applications, not for  oors. Onyx is sometimes used on vanities and other non-food service countertops; in these instances, the end user must be made aware of its acid sensitivity and fragility.

• Always use a neutral detergent to clean onyx.

• Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and  ssures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

• To better understand which limestones may be used in wet areas, refer to the Usage guide.

• Always use a neutral detergent to clean limestone.

• If maintenance is an issue, choose a limestone with a lower absorption rating and higher abrasion resistance.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

MARBLE

All marble will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons

or tomatoes. Most marble has a moderate absorption rating and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. Most marble has a low abrasion resistance rating; it is likely to scratch. Most marble has naturally occurring cracks and  ssures. In general, light-colored marble is dif cult to maintain in  ooring applications with heavier traf c and dark marble tends to show more scratching.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always seal marble prior to use.

 9 of 12 - material considerations:

SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR NATURAL STONE

Material considerations: setting expectations for natural stone

 QUARTZITE

Due to the incredibly high abrasion resistance of quartzite it can be dif cult to quarry and fabricate. This affects availability, fabrication lead times and cost. Some quartzites have high absorption ratings and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. Most quartzite has naturally occurring cracks and  ssures.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always seal quartzite prior to use.

• Always check the absorption rating.

• Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and  ssures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

SANDSTONE

All sandstones have high absorption ratings and medium abrasion resistance ratings; it will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. Due to its absorbency and mineral make-up, sandstone has a tendency to warp during installation.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always seal sandstone prior to grouting or use.

• Always check the absorption rating.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

• To prevent warpage, use a rapid setting adhesive such as graniRapid from Mapei or similar.

SCHIST

All schists have a moderate absorption rating and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. All schists have a low abrasion resistance rating and are likely to scratch.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always seal schist prior to grouting or use.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

• Use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

SLATE

All slates have a moderate absorption rating and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. All slates have a low abrasion resistance rating and are likely to scratch.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Always seal slate prior to grouting or use.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

• Use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

  10 of 12 - material considerations: sETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR NATURAL STONE

Material considerations: setting expectations for natural stone

TRAvERTINE

Travertine is a porous material with naturally-occurring holes that may remain un lled or be factory- lled with resin or cement. All travertines will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. All travertines have high absorption ratings and low abrasion resistance ratings.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Do not use resin- lled material outside, as the resin will discolor over

time. Choose cement- lled or un lled materials as an alternative.

• Fabricators will often need to resin- ll the exposed edges to match the  lled surface of the material.

• Do not use travertine for kitchen countertop applications.

• Always seal travertine prior to grouting or use.

• Use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.

• Always use a grout that is similar in color to the stone to avoid a picture-frame effect.

• Always use a neutral detergent to clean travertine.

• To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.

11 of 12 - material considerations:

SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR NATURAL STONE

Material considerations: setting expectations for GLASS TILE

GLASS TILE

All glass tiles will crack if not properly installed. Material will expand and contract when exposed to different temperatures found in shower areas. Movement (due to building sway, settling foundations, vibrations occurring in areas near elevator shafts, etc.) can also cause cracking. Larger-format glass is more prone to cracking than smaller-format.

HELPFUL TIPS

• Be sure that the wall has the proper gauged support studs and that

they are braced correctly.

• Set the appropriate grout joints. Wider grout joints must be used with large format glass tiles. Tiles will crack if the grout joints are not wide enough.

• Refrain from putting glass in contact with metal (i.e. faucets, handles, shower frame). Any glass to metal contact will cause the tiles in contact with the metal to crack.

• Use the proper adhesive. Different applications require different adhesives. Installers should refer to the TCNA handbook.

• Backs of tiles must be fully covered in adhesive (back-buttered) during installation. Otherwise, tiles will crack.

• Level and plumb the wall prior to installing glass. An unlevel surface will create tension across the wall, which will cause tiles to crack.

• Installers should always refer to the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook.