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question muddywaters 
Apr-26-2010 17:22
Damage from ash
Is it possible for ash (from a wildfire) to cause permanent damage to limestone tiles. What cleaning method would you recommend? thank you.
Damage from ash

The first thing I would suggest would be to use Club Soda soaked into a rag to wipe up the soot. I is a simple process with fireplace bricks and limestone should not be an exception. Let me know how it works and if it does not I can suggest other options. Armen Tavy

question alan 
Apr-19-2010 16:03
16-16 tile
I have a bedroom  that is 16-12 , how many boxes of 16-16 tile do i need
Dear ALAN:
16-16 tile

16 x 16 = 192 sq "

12 x 12 = 144"

192 sq " divided by 144 sq " = 1.7 sq ft per tile

12 x 16 = 192 sq ft

192 divided by 1.7 = 113 (tiles). Allowance of 7.5% for waste and extra tiles, order 122

Need tips on installation techniques and qualiying your subfloor? Better to ask now instead of waiting until it is too late. I am always here for you and all.  Armen Tavy

question george46 
Apr-16-2010 12:27
Kitchen backsplash substrata
My friend is replacing her counter tops with quartz.  And I will be tearing out the old formica counter and backsplash.  She wants ceramic tile between the new quartz, no quartz backsplash, up to under the cabinets. My question is, in tearing out the old counertops and backsplash, there will be damage to the underlying sheetrock, with removing the glue.  I was thinking of where the sheetrock is damaged, to the gypsum it self or the the brown paper, of putting some joint compound to make the surface even and a coat of primer and or paint.  Would this be ok?  What would you recommend..? Thanks
Dear GEORGE46:
Kitchen backsplash substrata

I will assume you have not viewed my video on how to tile over an existing Laminate Countertop and click on "Ron HAzelton" in the upper left margin.  It would save you a lot of time and grief.

However, if you still want to demo, I would advise you to be as careful as you can to minimize damage to the drywall and then lightly sand it and any "brown [paper" lightly. You would be better off using TAVY "Thin-Skin" over the dry wall after you sand and fill in any large cavities with a portland cement patching compound instead of  using "drywall mud".  The TAVY Thin-Skin fabric will span the smaller indentations easily. Will you be satisfied? I guaranty it Without a Doubt. Armen Tavy

question homeowner 
Apr-14-2010 04:09
Broken wall tiles in an old house
Our hundred-year old house moves with the seasons. Log joists, 13' studs and ballon-style construction contribute to the movement as the structural wood absorbs and desorbs seasonal atmospheric moisture. Nonetheless, we had an 8'x8' bathroom tiled. Every wall, floor and ceiling was brought to level with sister scabs screwed to the structural members. Green board was used under all tiled surfaces. I specified epoxy grout to minimize maintenance. Professional tradesmen were contracted to do the jobs within their specilaty, ie. Carpenter, drywaller, tile contractor. Two years later, we have no fewer than seven cracked wall tiles (8"x 14") at various locations. My question is: Should we avoid tile in subsequent remodeling projects due to the movement of the old house?
Broken wall tiles in an old house

Since I cannot view the installation from my home in Southern California I can only assume that your "professional" contractors were masters at their respective trades. “Green board” has been "banned" from use in "wet are installations. I do not "professionally" care for its use in the other areas either.

Since I cannot analyze the work of your "contractors" and knowing what you know now, my recommendation would be for you to "sheer panel" the walls and ceilings with a minimum 3/8" “exterior glue” plywood and then install "CBU” tile Backerboards with “construction adhesive” and Alkali resistant fasteners that “do not” penetrate more than ¼” into the studs. Boards should be spaced 1/8" apart in all directions and gaps filled with multi-purpose thin-set mortar and taped over with Alkali Resistant "CBU" Tape. I would also "double tape" inside or outside corners. Epoxy grouts are lower in maintenance but less forgiving in flexibility. “Flexible” Polyurethane grouts may better serve you in this instance. Armen Tavy


question spacerman 
Apr-11-2010 01:15
JOCOTTO tiles chipped and out of square
Re: Post #12644. Joyce, I just reviewed the photos you sent to my e-mail address showing the chipped corners. It is highly doubtful that these chips were made at the factory and were packaged anyway for resale. These chips are typical of poor handling by shippers, pallet jack and fork lift operators, as well as store retail employees who miss-handle heavy tile boxes. Just a slight drop of a tile box on its corner can cause this type of chip, and if you paid attention when opening the boxes, all the chips from one complete box would probably have been on the same corner. Tile installers also can cause this type of chip when miss-handling the tiles. Full boxes of purchased tiles should always be inspected by you for cardboard dents in their corners before they are delivered to you or to your vehicle. Some retailers have been known to give credit for these types of chips. In other cases the installer can sort these defective tiles into a set aside stack for future "cuts". How will he know if they exist before the installation is completed and every box is either used? It is a common practice "rule" for "professionals" to open each and every box of tile and inspect each and every tile for chips, breaks and obvious shade variations, if any. No exceptions or excuses are allowed to this "rule". And the last person to hold/touch a tile is responsible for that or any "defective tiles" that may get set in an installation. Armen Tavy
question JoCotto 
Apr-09-2010 18:30
Out of square
Hi Armen, what occurs that results in a tile being out of square? Does this occur with manufactured tiles? I have a customer that has a chipped corner that clearly looks as if this happened after the manufacturing process, possibly in transit yet they are claiming it's out of square. I can send a photo but I'm sure that your explanation will be more than sufficient. thanks, joyce
Out of square

Most tiles are made in molds, and "man" makes them. The amount of time and care in making each mold depends on the quality control of the manufacturer. If it is out of square, and many "low" cost tiles are, it is most likely a result of the latter. If it is "chipped" after it is manufactured, it would be quite obvious and in some cases where there are no available substitute tiles, a chip can be repaired with "tinted marble epoxy", wet" sanding stones or "wet" diamond pads. Tinting. to hide the repair. can also be accomplished with "ceramic rubs" available at ceramic hobby shops frequented by hobbyists. "Joann’s", "Michael’s, etc.

If you wish, you can send a picture or send the tile itself. Picture to or "tile" to 4929 N Alameda Drive, Oceanside CA 92056,. I always welcome anytime personal cell phone calls to: 860-559-8469 (Pacific Time Zone)

question wonka1 
Apr-09-2010 00:59
Natia Tile
looking for a tile from a company called Natia the style is Mission and the color Bianco. Have been told the tile or the company is no longer but wondering if anybody would know where I could git some
Dear WONKA1:
Natia Tile

The word is out for Natia, but in the meantime I will be going to a retailer here in Oceanside CA who may know of it, He has been in the business a long time and has the best memory of anyone I know about tiles and their sorces,. I will get back to you later. Armen Tavy

question john 
Apr-08-2010 17:00
copper tile install?
How should i install hammered copper tile to cement backer board and after its installed how to grout . Back splash,standard ceramic tile thickness,hollow inside,4by4"
Dear JOHN:
copper tile install?

Need just a wee bit more information.


Are you just going to randomly insert some copper tiles and if you are are they the same size or close to the same size? If theyare smaller, ny how much? If they are larger, by how much. Can you control the grout joint size? What do you mean by hollow inside? Are the copper tiles "concave" on the back sides?; and lastly, 4 x 4" sounds like you ae referring to standard wall tiles, is this correct and if so try to be more specific about the details of your project. Armen Tavy



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