Tile FAQ

How can I drill a hole through porcelain tile?
The only thing hard enough to drill through porcelain is a diamond drill bit.

How can you tell if the grout joints need to be resealed?
If you put a few drops of water on the grout and they bead up, the sealer is
OK. If the water absorbs into the grout, it is time to reseal.

If I drop something on my kitchen floor, is it going to crack the tile?

It depends, ceramic tile is very durable, if you drop a glass or dish, the glass
or dish will most likely break, depending on the angle and force of the
contact, the tile may be susceptible to cracking.

Is it difficult to replace a broken tile?

Something like this should be left to a professional. The grout around the
broken tile is removed first, then the broken tile is carefully removed using a
hammer and chisel. (Don't forget to wear goggles). Scrape up all the hard
mortar or adhesive. Then replace the tile and re-grout.

What do all these test results on-line mean? What's best?

Test results provide purchasers information on product performance. Las
Vegas Stone & Flooring products are designed to provide its customers the
broadest array of colors, textures, sizes and styles. However, each individual
is unique and each design style should allow the flexibility to conform to the
preferences of the designer. As a result, Las Vegas Stone & Flooring
provides extensive product information to allow each designer to customize
their look without having to sacrifice the practical needs of the application.
Coefficient of Friction (“COF) is the relative slip resistance of tile. The COF
test disclosed by Las Vegas Stone & Flooring is a laboratory or field test
established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to
provide its customers comparable slip resistance values for each of its floor
tiles. The measurements disclosed are designed to be one important factor
to consider in evaluating slip resistance. Other factors can affect slip
resistance, such as the degree of wear on the shoe and flooring material;
presence of foreign material, such as water, oil and dirt; the length of the
human stride at the time of slip; type of floor finish; and the physical and
mental condition of humans. The higher the COF, the more slip resistant the
tile. OSHA requires a 0.50 COF for walkways and the A.D.A. recommends a
0.60 for accessible routes and 0.80 for ramps. Scratch hardness of a tile
refers to the exterior surface of the tile and how easily it will mar. It is
therefore not a big issue for wall tile but is for floors and countertops. The
higher the number the better. A value of 7 or greater is normally
recommended for commercial applications. Abrasion Resistance measures
the hardness of the glaze and measures the overall durability of the tile.
There are 4 categories (or classes) of differentiation. The classes range from
Class 0 (not recommended for floors) to Class 4 (heavy commercial floor).
Water Absorption measures the susceptibility of the body of the tile to
absorb water. Tiles range from impervious (less than 0.5%) to Non-Vitreous
(more than 7.0%). Exterior applications will require an impervious tile. The
water absorption may impact the installation method, as well. Although this
test is used primarily to evaluate glazed and unglazed product, it is
sometimes used as a good indicator to predict the stain resistance of
unglazed tiles. Generally, for unpolished, unglazed tile, the lower the water
absorption the greater the stain resistance. Breaking Strength measures the
expected load bearing capacity of various installations. The higher the
breaking strength, the stronger and more durable the tile. Chemical
Resistance measures the resistance of the tile to various chemicals. An
application where there is exposure to staining chemicals and substances
should select only tiles identified to be resistant.

What size does your hexagon tile come in?

They are 1” hexagon tiles.

What does "COF" mean?

Coefficient of Friction ("COF) is the relative slip resistance of tile. The COF
test disclosed by Las Vegas Stone & flooring is a laboratory or field test
established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to
provide its customers comparable slip resistance values for each of its floor
tiles. The measurements disclosed are designed to be one important factor
to consider in evaluating slip resistance. Other factors can affect slip
resistance, such as the degree of wear on the shoe and flooring material;
presence of foreign material, such as water, oil and dirt; the length of the
human stride at the time of slip; type of floor finish; and the physical and
mental condition of humans.

Care & Maintenance

Contaminants and spills on a glazed ceramic tile are, generally, easier to
clean than most other unglazed ceramic and porcelain surfaces. Glazed tile
products should be cleaned routinely with an all-purpose, low VOC
household or commercial cleaner.
The product chosen should also be
grout joint cleaning compatible. The type of product may vary depending on
the tile application and use. A multipurpose spray cleaner, which removes
soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew designed for everyday use, can
be used on wall tile areas in residential bath & showers
The entire area should be cleaned and scrubbed with cleaner solution
through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge, or non-metallic brush. The
entire area should be rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning
solution residue. Remember that you should sweep or vacuum floor areas
prior to cleaning to remove any dust or debris. Routine cleaners should
never contain hazardous or polluting products including, but not limited to
acids or ammonia. Acids can damage the grout and the glazed surface of
the tile, and ammonia can discolor the grout.

Unglazed tile should be cleaned routinely with concentrated tile cleaners that
have a neutral PH for safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited at
removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products. Again these
products will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the
use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout
joints at the same time.

Removal of Sealers/Waxes/ Floor Finishes:

If you need to remove a topical sealer or floor wax from a ceramic tile you
should use a Tile Sealer & Adhesive remover. Always test a small area first.
Apply a liberal amount of undiluted sealer & adhesive remover to a
manageable area. Allow setting without drying until coating or residue
softens. Reapply if necessary until sealer softens and can be removed. If
necessary, agitate with white nylon scrub pad. Wipe up the residue with a
cotton towel or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Do not use on
natural stone & glass tiles:
For routine cleaning, use any non-abrasive cleaning compound
recommended for either glass or tile

Metal Signatures/Metal Ages/Urban Metals:

To clean, use a liquid non-abrasive household cleaner.

DO NOT use scouring pads, steel wool, sandpaper or other abrasive

Avoid cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, abrasives, or other
hazardous/polluting compounds.

Always test in small inconspicuous area while using a new cleaner to ensure

Ceramic Tile - Grout Care

Grout is the material used to fill the spaces between the individual tiles.
Grout comes in many colors. While color is important to the final finished
look of the tile installation, it has little effect on the functionality of the grout.
The purpose of grout is, simply, to fill the joint between the tiles and
becomes a permanent, integral component of the finished installation.

Penetrating/Impregnating Sealer:

Most tile installations use cementitious grouts. This type of grout should be
sealed after installation to prevent the color from staining. The grout should
be sealed with a penetrating/impregnating sealer (often called grout sealers)
which does not contain silicone, as silicone can shorten the useful life of the
sealer. Epoxy grouts, conversely, are chemically cured and acid resistant
and, as a result, do not require a sealer. The application of a good quality
penetrating/impregnating sealer into the grout joints of a cementitious grout
will not change the natural color of the grout, but will prevent the penetration
of moisture, simplify maintenance, and help prevent staining or discoloration.
Only the grout needs to be sealed, not glazed floor or wall tiles. Grout can be
sealed seventy-two hours after installation.

There are different grades of penetrating/impregnating sealers, therefore the
useful life and price will differ between a low quality and high quality sealer.
You may need to reapply the sealer on an annual basis depending on the
sealer quality, traffic patterns, and maintenance routine. Some sealers have
multiple year warranties for useful life. Refer to the manufacturer warranty,
technical & product information for specific details on product installation,
useful life, and product applications (including any warnings) before use.

Grout Maintenance:

Neither sealing the grout nor using a 100% Epoxy Grout will guarantee
against surface build-up or discoloration of the grout. Grout needs to be
cleaned on a periodic basis to remove any surface build-up. Routine grout
cleaning can be done with a daily concentrated household or commercial
cleaner depending on the application. When heavy duty grout cleaning is
required, you will need to use a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner
that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains,
algae, and synthetic or acrylic waxes from the grout joints. However, such a
product should contain non-polluting chemicals and low VOC levels. This
type of product can be purchased from most Home Centers, or through your
local professional Floor Covering Dealer.

Grout Color Restoration:

When grout has been stained to the point that it cannot be maintained or
returned to its natural color, you can return the grout back to its original color
or any other color through the use of a "grout stain". Grout Stains are epoxy-
based products that are specifically designed to penetrate into the grout and
seal the surface with a permanent color. Once the grout has been stained
there is no need to seal it any further with a penetrating/impregnating sealer.
Prior to staining, the grout joint should be cleaned thoroughly to remove any
dirt, oils, grease or sealers with a professional strength Tile & Grout Cleaner.
This can be purchased from most Home Centers or through your local
Professional Floor Covering Dealer.

Ceramic Tile - New Installations

Immediately after tile has been properly installed and grouted, the new
installation should be covered with brown paper to protect it from debris
during the remaining construction process. The grout joints should be
dampened daily with clear water using a clean sponge or mop during the
first 7 days. This procedure facilitates the grout cure and color lock. The
paper will allow for two important things: (1) to protect the newly installed tile
grout and (2) to allow moisture to escape from the grout as it cures further
protecting the look and utility of the floor. This is an important step in
achieving color consistency. Never use plastic or non-absorbent materials to
protect freshly installed tile. These types of non-absorbent products will trap
moisture causing the grout to discolor during the curing period. The
protective brown paper should remain until construction is complete and the
floor is opened for intended (post-construction) use.

Post-Grout Clean-Up:

Grout haze is a film that has been left behind on the surface of the tile as
part of the final grouting process. Usually this is buffed off the surface after
the grout has achieved its initial 12 to 24 hour cure. The removal of the haze
is often difficult when buffing with a clean rag or floor machine. Cementitious
grout haze can be successfully removed with "Sulfamic" acid, which is a mild
acid that attacks and breaks down cement smears. There are several
products on the market called grout haze removers, which usually contain
Sulfamic acid. Sulfamic acid can also be purchased in powder form and
mixed with water to different strengths by qualified professionals.
Similarly, 100% Solids Epoxy Grout haze can be removed with an Epoxy
Haze Remover. These removers are formulated to safely and quickly
remove cured epoxy haze from new tile installations. Their unique
formulation will soften most epoxy hazes for easy removal without damaging
the grout or tile, usually in one application. Sulfamic acid or grout removers
should never be used on Natural Stone products.

Natural Stone - Routine Care
Natural Stone Care & Maintenance

To insure your natural stone products will provide you with a lifetime of
aesthetics and utility, a proper maintenance program is crucial. Natural
Stone products are porous by nature and require a different maintenance
program than traditional ceramic tile.

Natural stone requires a different maintenance routine than traditional, man-
made ceramic tile. Many of the cleaners acceptable for use on ceramic tile
can stain, damage or dull stone. Dirt and dust will scratch the surface of
stone. Therefore, stone floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped
frequently to remove abrasive agents from the stone surface. Natural stone
should be cleaned with neutral cleaners. Stone cleaners should never
contain acid or bleach. Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will
etch and eventually damage natural stone.

Stone Cleaners:

Only use cleaners specifically designed for cleaning stone. These cleaners
contain no acids and are concentrated neutral pH cleaners that will not affect
existing sealers or wax-type coatings. The surface of the stone should be
dampened with clear water. This will keep the cleaning solution on the
surface so it can be effective. A solution of the cleaner and water missed to
manufacturer instructions should be applied to the stone surface with a
sponge or mop. On walls, kitchen counters or vanity tops, a spray bottle can
be used to apply the cleaning solution. Allow sitting for manufacturers
specified amount of time (usually 3 to 5 minutes). Agitate with a sponge,
synthetic mop, soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-scrubbing
machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry.

Once the stone has been cleaned, you can periodically apply a Spray-Buff
wax-type floor finish to enhance the beauty and luster of polished stone
(including countertops). Apply the finish with a spray applicator and buff
immediately with a white nylon pad. Reapply as often as needed, depending
on volume of surface traffic and consistency of routine maintenance
program. This product is not designed to restore the original shine, but is
intended to maintain and protect the original shine. This can be purchased
from most Home Centers or through your local Professional Floor Covering

Heavy-Duty Stone Cleaning:

When some areas have been neglected, you will need to use a heavy-duty
non-hazardous and non-polluting stone cleaner and degreaser to effectively
non-hazardous and non-polluting stone cleaner and degreaser to effectively
remove dirt, grease, grime, waxes and floor finishes. An optimal heavy-duty
cleaner should contain low percentages of volatile organic compounds.
These cleaning products are concentrated and designed to deep clean the
stone without damaging it. Apply the solution of the cleaner and water mixed
to manufacturer instructions to the stone surface with a sponge or mop.
Allow setting for manufacturer-specified amount of time. Agitate with a
sponge, synthetic mop, and soft bristle brush or through the use of a floor-
scrubbing machine. Mop up dirty solution and buff dry. Be sure to change
out the cleaning solution every 100 square feet to avoid reintroducing dirty
water during the cleaning process. Rinse thoroughly with clean water when
finished. After cleaning you may apply the Spray-Buff wax-type floor finish to
enhance the natural shine.

Pre-grout Sealing:

A non-sanded grout is strongly recommended for natural stone installations
due to the narrow grout joints customarily preferred. This type of grout has
very fine particles of cement, polymers and color pigments that can
penetrate the microscopic pores of the stone surface where they become
trapped and appear as a stain in the stone. Therefore, all travertine, slate,
tumbled stone and honed/flamed/unpolished granite should be sealed prior
to the grouting process to protect them from staining. The application of a
good quality sealer should be used as a grout sealer and applied again as
the final sealing process once the installation is finished.


A premium natural look penetrating/impregnating sealer is the normal choice
on polished or honed marble, limestone, granite, or where the natural color
of a slate is desired. A stone enhancer sealer is often used on tumbled,
antique stones or on slate where a darker, enriched or highlighted character
is desired. When choosing either one of these types of sealers, make sure
the brand you have chosen is formulated to provide maximum stain
protection for stone products. Stone products should be tested periodically
per manufacturer's instructions to insure that the sealer is working

Penetrating/impregnating stone sealers are a no-sheen, natural look
sealer that can be water-based or solvent-based, good for interior and
exterior applications. Most quality sealers of this type are rated to protect the
stone for several years.

Stone enhancer sealers are also a no-sheen, penetrating/impregnating
sealer that is formulated to darken, enrich and highlight the natural color and
beauty of stone products. They will rejuvenate and improve the appearance
of worn and weathered stone. Always test loose pieces of stone to ensure
desired effect with enhancing sealers. However, they will also darken the
color of grout joints. They are, generally, suitable for interior and exterior
use, and rated to protect the stone for several years.

Always reference manufacturer's literature for specific information on the
duration of the sealer's protection and make sure that the sealer is applied in
strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.


A stone floor finish should be applied to a polished natural stone floor only.
This type of product will help enhance the shine and provide a protective
coating for "soft" or polished marbles. Verify the finish is a wax-type finish
designed to add luster and enhance the beauty of sealed and polished
natural stone only. A topical finish may change the appearance and
performance of your stone, so always test a small area first. Application of
topical sealer or wax should never be done as an attempt to add a
shine to a honed, scratched or non-polished stone product. This will
only create maintenance and/or slip resistance problem.

Maintenance Cleaning

Highly alkaline, acidic, ammoniated, abrasive cleaners and/or bleach may
break down the sealer, adversely affecting repellency and may not be good
for the tile or grout. Use neutral cleaners specially formulated for tile and
grout that are low VOC, non-hazardous and non-polluting.

Re-Sealing and Protecting:

For interior surfaces, resealing should be performed every 3-5 years. For
exterior surfaces, resealing should be performed every 1-3 years. Terrazzo
surfaces must be sealed to prevent or minimize staining. Leaving terrazzo
untreated may greatly hinder the complete removal of stains in the future.
We recommend the use of a heavy-duty sealant that is low in VOC content
and does not contain any hazardous materials.

One Quartz Surfaces - Routine Care
One Quartz Surfaces are virtually maintenance free and can be cleaned with
extreme ease.

Common household spills – such as, tea, coffee, lemon juice, soda, fruit,
vegetable juice, olive oil or grease spills – are easily removed and the
surface restored to its original appearance.

Some One Quartz Surface colors and finishes liked honed, matt, etc., are
more sensitive to grease or finger-prints and may require extra care during
routine cleaning.

Quartz is one of the hardest materials in nature, which is your assurance
that your One Quartz Surfaces will not easily scratch or chip. The use of a
cutting board is nevertheless recommended.

To maintain the natural beauty of One Quartz Surfaces, do not place hot
skillets or roasting pans directly onto the surface but use a trivet instead.

For routine cleaning, use a damp cloth or paper towel and, if necessary, a
small amount of mild soap. Once clean, rinse and dry surface thoroughly.

For stubborn or dried spills, use a nonabrasive cleaning pad such as a white
3M Scotch-Brite® scrub pad combined with a small amount of mild soap or
specialized stone cleaner. One Quartz Surfaces floors in high traffic areas
should be cleaned daily with a clean, dry dust mop or soft bristle broom.

One Quartz Surfaces floors in low traffic areas can be cleaned less
frequently using the same method. Spills should be spot treated with the use
of a damp mop or cloth towel and, if necessary, a small amount of mild soap
or specialized stone cleaner.

A floor machine such as a slow speed buffer or walk behind scrubber can be
used for larger commercial environments. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to
remove any haze residue that may diminish the shine and beauty of the

For Heavily soiled floors, as with any floor, it makes sense to clean up spills
as soon as possible.

Avoid exposing One Quartz Surfaces to chemicals and solvents, especially
paint removers or furniture strippers containing trichlorethane or methylene
chloride. Keep nail polish remover, bleach or cleansers that contain bleach,
bluing, permanent markers or inks. While casual exposure to alkaline
materials will not damage One Quartz Surfaces, highly alkaline (high-pH)
cleansers are not recommended when cleaning One Quartz Surfaces. If any
of the substances listed above come into contact with One Quartz Surfaces,
rinse the exposed surface immediately and thoroughly with plenty of clean

Do not use strong abrasive and/or alkaline cleaning products. Always follow
the manufacturers’ dilution instructions and recommendations.