What are rectified tiles?When a tile is "rectified" its edges are cut at the factory after it is baked. The natural, pressed and somewhat rounded edges of the tile are cut and machined to produce a fairly sharp, precise edge with a micro-bevel and a flat surface at the perimeter. This procedure is common for porcelain floor tile but is also sometimes performed on large format ceramic wall tiles. With this precision the tiles can be set with a 2 mm to 3 mm grout joint and due to the flatness at the edges the joints are less visible.
Can a wall tile be used on a floor?No. Wall tiles have a weaker glaze and body and will wear prematurely. It is also not as resistant to impact and stress when used as a floor finish and may spall, chip and crack. However, a floor tile can definitely be used on walls.
What is the difference between a porcelain floor tile and a ceramic floor tile?Today, most floor tiles on the market are porcelain. A porcelain tile is essentially a ceramic tile in the architectural world, that is, there are two classifications of ceramic tiles, porcelain and non-porcelain. The latest styles and designs are only manufactured as porcelain products. Porcelain floor tiles have a more dense body and, typically, harder glazes than ceramic floor tiles. In its manufacture, higher temperatures and finer clays are used and an extra mineral component is added to make it a porcelain tile.
What is a "glazed and polished porcelain tile"?This is a highly polished porcelain tile, usually rectified, that is produced by applying a thick glaze, machining it smooth and polishing it. Glazes are necessary for printing broad digital inkjet designs onto the tile. Unglazed porcelain, which can also be highly polished, is not suitable for most digital inkjet designs.
What is a "lappato or semi-polished porcelain tile"?The finish on different semi-polished tiles can vary from a very slight polish on the high spots of a textured glaze to an almost fully polished surface that reveals some pits or dull areas. Often it is done to more authentically duplicate stone tile which have some natural fissures. It is also less slippery and less susceptible to visible scratches than fully polished tiles.
What is an "unglazed and polished porcelain tile"?Unglazed porcelain tiles are highly polished and have rectified edges. They are usually through-body porcelain and suitable for commercial traffic. Some of them are treated with an impregnating sealer at the factory whereas others may have a label on the carton that states that a solvent-based impregnator needs to be applied during installation.
What does "digital technology" mean?This term refers to the tile's design that is printed onto the surface. "High Definition" is another industry marketing term to describe the process. Today, images that are created from photographs by a computer program are then applied to the tile by inkjets, much like modern office printers. With this technology the designs are more exciting and attractive than ever.
What size grout joint should I use?The tile type often dictates what size joint space to use. It is desirable to have small joints in most cases. If a tile is rectified a 2 mm or 3 mm space is possible. For many floor tiles a 3 mm, 4 mm or 5 mm joint is good. It often depends on the calibration of the tiles. Unless a tile has been rectified, most tiles are not 100% perfectly sized from one to the next, therefore a bigger joint than 2 mm is required to enable a proper installation. They can sometimes vary in size from tile to tile by a half millimetre or 1/64" or so due to baking and drying factors during production, which is normal.
What is a shade variation scale?Some manufacturers use the V scale for grading the shade or tone variations of a particular tile product from piece to piece. The tone variations are intentional and part of the design. Many porcelain floor tiles that emulate natural stone benefit from changes in tone from tile to tile and more closely resemble the real thing. Substantial variation (V4) can also be quite attractive for certain tile designs.
V1 = little or no shade variation
V2 = slight variation
V3 = moderate variation
V4 = substantial variation
Should I use sanded or non-sanded grout?The rule used to be to use non-sanded grout for joints 1/8" or less and to use sanded grout for joints bigger than 1/8". However, today there are universal grouts available that are produced with finer sand particles and will work for most joints. These "New Generation" grouts are so fine that they can be used with glass mosaics, wall tiles and many polished stone tiles without scratching the surfaces.
Is tile too slippery for exterior walkways?Some tiles are suitable and safe for exterior entries, stairs, pool decks, etc. It depends on the texture of the tile. There is a German slip resistance classification (DIN 51130) which uses "R-ratings" that is most commonly used by residential designers. For exterior residential walkways an R10 tile or greater is recommended. There are porcelain tiles available that have R11, R12 and R13 ratings for even more safety.
What is lippage?The term "lippage" is an industry-exclusive word for unacceptable height differences between adjacent tiles. Tiles should be set so that the edges are flush with each other. Not only is lippage unacceptable aesthetically but on floors the tiles will be prone to more abrasion at the protruding edges.
What is epoxy grout?Epoxy grout is a specialty joint filler made mostly of sand, dyes, epoxy resin and an epoxy catalyst. These components are mixed together at the time of installation. The mixing, grouting and washing techniques are a bit different than cement grout applications and require some proficiency. The result is a very tough, colour-fast, waterproof and stain-proof grout.
What is "New Generation" grout and mortar?These are hi-tech installation mortars and grouts that have lightweight and anti-slump qualities among other advantages over typical products.
What is the best way to cut tiles?Almost all ceramic and porcelain tiles can be straight cut very precisely and quickly with a manual tile cutter that scores the surface and then splits it. A wet-saw or handheld grinder can be used to do L-shaped cuts and such. Many glass tiles and mosaics can also be cut with a manual score-and-snap tile cutter. Stone tiles need to be cut with a wet-saw or high speed grinder. Ceramic wall tiles are the easiest to cut and drill into. Today's dense porcelain tiles require more expensive blades and bits to efficiently cut and drill them. Visible cuts in an installation benefit from being sanded with a wet diamond hand pad to soften and smooth the edge.
Should I apply silicone caulking at inside corners?Since inside corners often experience movement that can crack grout, it is recommended to caulk them with 100% silicone sealant. Today there are colour-matched silicone sealants available in the same colours as grout. A kitchen backsplash, for instance, requires silicone sealant at the countertop to wall junction to seal it against water and eliminate the problem of cracked grout due to inevitable movement. Showers and bathrooms are also enhanced when the inside corners are caulked properly with silicone. Please note that 100% silicone sealant is superior to acrylic, latex or "siliconized" caulk that is on the market. It is the correct product to use.
Can electric in-floor heat systems warm the entire room?Yes. These electric cable or mat systems generate over 40 BTU's per square foot which is more than a typical baseboard heater. Not only that, but an in-floor heat source is the most comfortable and pleasant form of heat.
What is Schluter?Schluter® Systems is a world leader in the development of innovative installation systems for ceramic and natural stone tile. The company was founded in Germany by a tile-setter who designed an aluminum L-shaped profile trim for ceramic tiles as a solution for floor transitions. It became so popular that the word Schluter became a household word for any metal tile trim product. Besides tile profile trims in a large selection of finishes and shapes, Schluter is famous for anti-fracture membranes, waterproofing products for bathrooms and many more innovations for the tile industry.
Can you tile over old tiles?Yes. If the substrate is stable and the existing tiles are without failures it can be a very practical solution. Please note that this method is intended for dry, interior areas only. There is an adhesion promoting primer available, Mapei - ECO-Prim-Grip, which is excellent for preparing walls or floors for this purpose.
Do you have to seal grout?No, although traditional cement grouts will certainly benefit from an application of a natural-look impregnator but it is not a necessity. "New Generation" cement grout such as MAPEI Flexcolor™ CQ doesn't need it at all; it is dense enough to resist staining.
Do you have to seal stone tiles?Yes, it is recommended to seal most stone tiles with an impregnator.
What is impregnator?Impregnator is a non-film-forming sealer that penetrates stone tiles and grout but does not leave a finish on the surface. It is very effective against oil and water based stains. It's available in natural-look, which doesn't change the appearance of the stone after it is sealed, and in a colour-enhancing version. Impregnator is easy to apply and long lasting.
Can I use acid to clean tiles?It is not recommended to use products such as muriatic acid to clean glazed tiles and grout. It can damage the grout and the tiles. In some cases, such as when a stubborn grout haze is left on the tile, an "acid cleaner" especially made for tiles is okay to use if the directions are followed carefully.
What is the best way to maintain tiles?Simply dry sweeping is good for floors to prevent soiling. Occasionally a good cleaning with pH-neutral tile and stone cleaner is recommended for floors and walls.
Ordering & Payments
How do I know how many tiles to order?Each tile project is unique and will require a different amount of material depending on your vision. Some of these factors may include the area being tiled, types of trim and finishing pieces being used, the pattern being installed, etc. If you need assistance with measuring or ordering, please call our TileTown Experts at (844) 845-3869.
Do you recommend ordering "extra" tile for projects?Yes, It's recommended to order 10% extra based upon pattern layout to accommodate for cuts and future repairs. The availability and style of tiles are always changing, so having an extra box or two on hand is highly recommended.
What form of payments do you accept?In-store: American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Cash
Online: American Express, Mastercard, Visa
Over the phone: American Express, Mastercard, Visa
Can I order tile samples online?Yes, samples of all of our tile products are available in-store and online by request for a minimal fee.
I'm having trouble with my online order, who can help me?If you have any questions about placing an order online or need assistance with viewing, updating or removing items from your cart, please reach out to your local Tile Town store representatives at (844) 845-3869.
Shipping & Handling
What are your online shipping rates?
- Any return shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the customer. Once our distribution centre has received the product, allow up to 48 hours to process the return. Tile Town will then issue the customer a refund for the returned product based on the original form of payment.
- Backordered materials requiring multiple shipments do not qualify for free shipping. A Customer Service representative will contact you with additional details.
- Orders of any size can be shipped to one of our Tile Town stores near you for FREE pick-up.
What if I need to change my shipping address for an online order?If you have already placed your order, you will need to contact your local Tile Town store to change your shipment address. Any changes made to the provided shipping address once your order is in route will result in additional freight fees that are the sole responsibility of the customer--this includes requesting the material being shipped to a local store after the material has already been shipped. Please contact your local Tile Town store for more details.
Will all of my products arrive at the same time?Your order will not be released until available in full. Should there be a back-ordered product on order, a Tile Town will be in touch to provide the next steps.
How do I know if a product is back-ordered or out of stock?While we try to keep our website's product availability information as up-to-date as possible, it is possible that an item will become back-ordered and still be available for purchase through the site. A local Tile Town store representative will be in touch to provide more information about the back ordered material.
How long does it take to ship my order?
- Materials that are in stock at our distribution centre are shipped out within 1-2 business days from the order date. Delivery time is typically estimated between 2-3 business days.
- Shipping times can be delayed if there are back ordered items on your order. A local Tile Town store representative will update you with any inventory issues.
- We strongly recommend you do not schedule installation until you have received and inspected your products as there can be unforeseen delays, including shipping delays due to weather, breakage, etc.
- Tile Town cannot be held liable for failure to meet scheduled install dates due to delivery.
- Delivery dates are approximated and cannot be promised under any circumstance.
- Curbside freight deliveries will require an appointment, which is scheduled directly with the on site Tile Town store representative.
What should I expect when my tile is delivered?
- Depending on the size and quantity of materials shipped, items will be shipped via Purolator or local freight service.
- The delivery service is ground service.
- Purolator shipments will be delivered to the address supplied and may require a signature for delivery.
- Local freight shipments are Curb-side on driveway deliveries.
- Someone is responsible for being at the residence upon delivery and sign for materials.
- Any pallets of material are delivered at ground level.
- The shipping company will not physically move or carry the product.
What is Curb-side delivery?Larger tile shipments are secured to a pallet and delivered by a freight carrier. For residential deliveries, an appointment is required with the carrier, and the shipment is delivered at the edge of the property or "Curb-side." The shipping company will not physically move or carry the product at the time of delivery beyond curb-side drop-off.
What steps do I need to take if I receive a broken tile in my shipment?If you ordered your material through one of our stores, please reach out to that store directly to address damaged material.
If your purchase was placed through “Virtual Connect”, please immediately follow the steps listed below to ensure prompt attention. One of our local Tile Town representatives will follow up on your damage claim within 24 hours. They will determine the next steps and coordinate the replacement of damaged pieces either by the exchange at our nearest store or by direct shipment in some circumstances.
- Receive shipment in full. Make a note of any visible damage to the shipment on the Proof Of Delivery (POD) provided by the freight company for signature.
- Examine your entire order upon delivery. Open up each box/package and inspect all items.
- Any damage that is found, please photograph the products affected.
- Email photos of the damage to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Damaged Product" in the subject line. Please be sure to include your order details in the message (name, order number and date of arrival). Limit to 2-3 photos per email to ensure the email is delivered correctly to our local Tile Town store team. You can also contact them with any questions regarding your order or these policies by calling your local Tile Town store here.
My order is being shipped to a store, now what?
- Orders shipping to a store for pick-up will ship on their next product truck as long as the product is in stock.
- You will be contacted by your local Tile Town representative by both phone or email when this product is ready for pick-up at the store. (Please check both email inbox and spam folder for correspondence.)
- Our local Tile Town store representative will request a pick-up date to provide to the store enough time to gather all the ordered items.
What should I expect when I pick up my tile?
- The store will require the telephone number provided on your order with the shipping information to locate.
- The team associate assisting will either bring your material to the front for pick-up or, if a larger order, send you to the warehouse bay doors for pick-up.
- Upon pick-up, the store will go through the ordered item by item, indicating materials being picked up.
Returns & Exchanges
- Tile Town sells products that are either a natural stone cut from a quarry, a clay tile or another material that is processed and manufactured to achieve specific colours and textures.
- Stone is a natural product subject to variations in size, colour, shade, veining, texture and polish. These variations are what make natural stone unique. All stone samples are provided by the manufacturer and are intended to convey the characteristics of a particular type of stone. Still, variations will occur, and the product’s conformity to a sample is not assured.
- Although manufactured tiles may be more uniform, variations in colour and texture can still occur, and the colour of any sample may differ from the current product offering.
- The coverages displayed are approximate, and product specifications are not guaranteed.
- Where sales taxes apply, all orders are subject to the taxes in the location where the customer takes possession of the order.
- Buyer or Buyer’s representative must inspect any stone or tile product upon delivery and promptly notify your Tile Town store representative of any problems or dissatisfaction with the product delivered.
- If placing a damage claim, the Buyer must give Tile Town sufficient time after notification to inspect for damage.
- The product is to be kept secure until inspected. Buyer to inspect tile product upon pick-up or at delivery drop off.
- If the Buyer is dissatisfied with the product for any reason, they are to notify your Tile Town representative to arrange for the materials to be returned.
- The Buyer is eligible for a full refund for returned materials, as outlined here, as soon as Tile Town resumes possession of the material at any location.
- A refund will be issued for active products returned in the same condition they were received within thirty (30) days of the date the goods were received by the Buyer.
- Products must be returned in the same unit of measure as purchased (e.g. pallet, box, or each).
- Liquid and powder products must remain unopened and in sellable condition to be eligible for return.
- Once installed, the Buyer accepts the product without recourse, and no returns will be offered.
- Returns are not permitted for discontinued or special order* items. *Special Order items are all non stocked tile product.
- Delivery/freight is nonrefundable.
- Exchanges are welcome and subject to the same specifications as our Return Policy.
- The Buyer may call Tile Town where the product was ordered or visit the local store to cancel an order or any part of an order that has not yet been received by Tile Town.
Online Order Cancellation
- Orders cancelled prior to shipping will never assess a penalty.
- Once an order is processed to ship or has shipped, it can not be cancelled.
What if I get home and change my mind about the sample?Sample purchases are returnable and follow the same return policy as your full tile order. If you are unhappy with your sample, let us know. Either bring the sample back to your nearest store or call our a Tile Town representative, and we will work with you to find other options.
Click here for information on our Returns & Exchanges policy.
Is there a maximum number of samples I can order?While you can only order one sample per product, there is no limit on the number of samples you can order altogether. However, we find it is best to limit yourself to 2-3 options. Often if too many samples are purchased, the options become overwhelming, and customers struggle to pick the one they like best for their project. For assistance in selecting tile for your project, call our Tile Experts or visit your local store.
How much do you charge for a sample?Our samples are actual full-size pieces direct from our inventory versus cut down "swatch" samples. We feel this provides the best visual possible when selecting tile for your project. Because these are full-sized tiles, you are only paying the cost of one full piece of that tile. Sample purchases are returnable and follow the same return policy as your entire tile order. Click here for information on our Returns & Exchanges policy.
Do you offer design services?Yes, free design services are part of the Tile Town experience both in stores and online. Visit our online "Virtual Connect" here to see the many ways to connect with our Tile Experts or visit your nearest store to start your project today.
Do you offer installation services?No, but our stores will be happy to refer you to a list of independent TilePro members and local trade professionals who can assist you with your tile and stone installation. However, Tile Town does not guarantee these installations or the accuracy of any information provided by the installers and accepts no responsibility for the quality or timeliness of the installation or any inaccuracies or omissions in the information provided. In no event may Tile Town be held liable for any incidental or consequential damages for any installation or information concerning installation.
What should I know before purchasing tile?
- The product you are purchasing is either a natural stone product quarried and cut from stone quarries, clay tile, or other tile products processed and manufactured to achieve particular effects of colour and texture.
- You understand and agree that stone is a natural product subject to variations in size, colour, shade, veining, texture and polish. These variations are what make natural stone unique.
- All stone samples are provided by the manufacturer and are intended to convey the characteristics of a specific type of stone, but variations will occur.
- You understand that the product's conformity to a sample is not assured and is not the basis of the Sales Agreement.
- Although manufactured and processed tiles may be more uniform, they can also have variations in colour and texture. In addition, the colour of any sample may display differently when large amounts of the colour are visible.
- Where sales taxes are applicable, all orders are subject to the taxes in the location where the customer picks up/receives the order.
How Tile Town is Preparing and Responding
Updated June 7th, 2021
In accordance with the provincial government, beginning June 1, 2020, our Edmonton, Richmond, Surrey and Victoria stores will be open for customer browsing and in-store appointments.
Book online via our Virtual Connect Hub
We remain committed to the health and safety of our customers and associates and will continue to maintain the many safety measures we have put in place in our stores, including:
- Limiting the number of customers allowed into stores at one time and asking that customers limit two (2) per group
- Promoting social and physical distancing practices in stores by marking floors, installing plexiglass shields and adding signage to help customers and associates maintain safe distances
- The increasing frequency of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the store and product
- Offering convenient pick-up and home delivery options to help limit store traffic
- All stores are not accepting returns as per our regular return policy. See Return Policy
Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate COVID-19 together with the safety of our customers and staff in mind.