Bob Buswell is Walker Zanger’s Technical Director, or as we a like to call him, “Technical Guru” of all things related to installing and caring for tile and stone. He is called on by Walker Zanger Sales Associates and Clients on a daily basis for advice on proper setting materials, challenging installations, methods for sealing and a million other issues. Now, you can ask him your own tile installation or care related question as well. Just click on the “Ask Bob” button below, jot down your question, send it to us and Bob will get you an answer!
Q: I have installed a Walker Zanger crackle tile which the entire surface of the tile is covered in the white material that the tile is made from. It is a shower stall. I’m guessing the water has penetrated the tile and reacted to it. What are your thoughts?
A: Hello Mike,
A crackle glaze tile requires sealing prior to grouting and then the grout must be sealed after it is fully cured (to be safe) after 72 hours. Then, depending on the amount of usage the shower gets, the tiles must be resealed as part of the routine maintenance program. For a master bathroom shower you may need to reseal every year where as a guest bath shower may be every 3-5 years. The white buildup on the tile’s surface is most likely not particles from the tile’s clay body but it may be grout residue or efflorescence emanating from the thin-set and mortar bed. Hope this helped and thanks for your question!
Q: Is it possible to install your AnTeak Collection on the ceiling? If so, what is the suggested process?
A: Hi Lorraine,
Yes, our AnTeak tile can be installed on the ceiling, just as on walls. Please allow the tiles to acclimate on the location of the installation for 4-5 days prior to installation. This will ensure minimal expansion and contraction of reclaimed teak tile products. For detailed instructions, please visit the following link and download our AnTeak Installation Instruction (add link to installation instruction). Thanks for your question!
Q: What should I use to clean my 6th Avenue ceramic tile?
A: Hi Penny,
Use a pH neutral cleaner manufactured for cleaning ceramic tile. Your grout should be sealed and then, when cleaned, the pH neutral cleaner won’t harm the sealer or grout. If you were to use a cleaner that is somewhat acidic, over a short amount of time, the tile’s glaze may dull and the grout will become etched and discolored. This means that vinegar, which is also an acid, even if diluted in water will cause the same negative outcome. Marble, Travertine, and Limestone are all composed of calcium carbonate, so they will also be etched and become dull if cleaned with that same vinegar and water scenario. Walker Zanger recommends and offers for sale Oceancare’s pH Neutral Tile and Stone Cleaner to help with this problem. Thanks for your question!
Q: I’m interested in the Helsinki Chevron tile for my bathroom and shower floor, but I’m concerned about how slippery it would in the shower since it’s so smooth. Is it rated for bathroom use?
A: Hi Palamy,
The Helsinki Chevron Pattern is fine for your shower walls but for the floor I would use the Helsinki Small Brick, Long Brick, or 1 x 1 mosaic. This way you’ll have sufficient grout joints, using a sanded grout, to provide a finished stone tile surface that will not pose a slip/fall issue even when wet. (Small Brick 4” X 7/8”/Long Brick 6” X 1-1/8”) Thanks for your question!
Q: I am a subcontractor installing some of your Studio Moderne tiles with crackle, do you have any precautions I need to take before I grout? Also, is it possible to grout the tile with sanded CaulkRYH6?
A: Hi Tim,
The crackle glaze surface of our Studio Moderne Ceramic Tile must be sealed, as do most all crackle glazed tiles, prior to grouting. Just a light coat of sealer on the tile’s surface; don’t flood the ungrouted joints. Following the grouting process, using a cementitious grout, seal the grout with the same sealer used initially after waiting 72 hours for the grout to fully cure. Then wait an additional 72 hours for the sealer to penetrate and cure before the grouted tile installation is complete and ready for usage. Thanks for your question!