3 Incredible Advantages of Tile Flooring

tile floor light shadows

Tile flooring doesn’t just look and feel great – there are plenty of other benefits that many homeowners don’t realize when deciding between carpeting, tile, linoleum, or hardwood. Especially during home remodels and new constructions, selecting the right flooring material for your home could increase the value of your property and protect your construction materials for years to come.

1. Longer Lasting

Compared to hardwood or linoleum flooring materials, tile is much more durable and reliable material for use over a long period of time. Maintenance on tile is easier, as it doesn’t require sanding or replacement like hardwood. Both ceramic and porcelain tile are known for their durability and resilience, but without proper, professional installation, the material’s lifespan will be dramatically shortened.

2. Healthier for Your Family

Thanks to a high-temperature kiln used in the production of tile flooring panels, the end result contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have negative affects on your home’s indoor air quality. Many adhesives and grouts contain very low levels of VOCs, meaning the impact of your flooring materials on your indoor air quality could be next to zero. Try finding a carpet that can do that.

3. Responsible and Green

Many tile brands are offering recycled tile material, meaning either the ceramic or porcelain used in the product is manufactured with majority previously-used materials. Furthermore, many production facilities are closed loop, meaning they reuse water and materials, sending only a miniscule amount of waste to landfills.

If the cold weather is causing you to take a hard look at your flooring options, contact the tile installation experts at Strictly Tile today. We can plan and implement a beautiful, functional tile flooring, accent, or feature that increase the emotional and financial value of your home for years to come. Give us a call or use the contact form to learn more about our process today!

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The Best Way to Protect Grout from Discoloration

small tiles

Discolored grout is unsightly, gross, and potentially dangerous. As grout ages and experiences long-term exposure to water or contaminant, it will fade, change colors, or start growing blotches – let alone the threat of mold and mildew that’s ever looming over your bathroom.

While we’d always recommend a tile and grout specialist’s expertise to ensure a quality finish, there is a way homeowners can protect their grout: sealing it once per year. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1

Thoroughly clean and scrub the surface of the grout with a grout cleaner. Products are readily available from hardware and home improvement stores and quality will vary, so check their labelling carefully. Use a rigid toothbrush to apply the cleaning solution and scrub rigorously, then rinse. Higher-end products are used by grout restoration professionals, so if yours isn’t getting the job done, give us a call.

Step 2

Strip out any old sealant by using a grout stripper. Results vary by brand, but applying the stripper with a brush and letting it permeate the sealant. After leaving it for the time stated by the specific product, scrub it off and rinse the tile with water.

Step 3

After you’ve treated your existing grout, allow the tile and grout to dry overnight (or the time specified by the product’s labelling).

Step 4

Apply the grout sealer to the grout lines and avoid getting any on the tiles as much as possible. Use either the applicator nozzle or a foam brush – whichever is more comfortable for you. Apply the sealer generously but carefully.

Step 5

Wipe the sealed lines with a clean cloth after letting the sealer dry for 5-10 minutes. Check to see if the sealer comes off in the cloth – if it does, apply more sealer to the grout lines in question. Repeat until all grout line areas are sealed.

For professional tile repair and grout restoration services that won’t break the bank, contact Strictly Tile today by using the contact form or calling 425-750-6433.

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Why Fall is the Most Important Time to Repair Your Tile

placing setting tile floor

If you’re like many other homeowners, chances are you’ve neglected the tile in your bathroom or kitchen due to busy summer schedules or more pressing home improvement chores during the warm weather months. But did you know that autumn is the best time to replace grout and repair your tile? Here’s why:

Cold Weather = Closed Windows

With cooler weather, your home gets closed up and less fresh air is allowed to circulate inside your home. Even if you have a decent ventilation system in your bathroom, indoor humidity and more organic particulates can limit the amount of air able to properly dry moisture on your tile. While you can squeegee and wipe down wet surfaces, the growth potential for mold and mildew is much higher in autumn and winter than other months.

More Time Spent Indoors

Once again, cold weather is the culprit here, but only because your family will be spending more time indoors than during the spring and summer. The combination of more movie nights, family dinners, and visitors for the holidays can put significant strain on your bathrooms. Additional plumbing usage and longer, hotter baths and showers can increase the moisture on your surfaces, once again leading to potential problems with mold and mildew.

And if you’re already seeing signs of mold in your grout, the additional time spent indoors means you’ll be breathing more spores than usual, so don’t wait another weekend – call Strictly Tile! Our tile and grout repair specialists can quickly and professionally treat your tile and replace any damaged grout so your indoor areas will be safe and beautiful all winter long. Use the contact form to make an appointment or to discuss your project with us today.

Removing Bathroom Mold: Breaking Down Several Methods

dirty white tile and wall

A severe problem in the perennially humid Pacific Northwest, mold growth in poorly-ventilated bathrooms has many severe health hazards. Preventing mold growth is an entirely separate story, but there are steps homeowners can take to remove it and keep it out of your bathroom forever. Here are a few effective methods of removing mold from your bathroom.

Bleach and Water

Spraying a 2/3 water, 1/3 bleach solution onto the mold-covered surfaces of your bathroom grout or tile, letting it dry, then spraying again and scrubbing away the gunk is an arduous and tedious chore, but an effective one. Once you’ve gotten up off your hands and knees and put away the sponge, be sure to rinse off the entire area to wash away any lingering bleach. Repeat as many times as necessary, but be forewarned: if the mold won’t go away without scraping off your grout, it’s time for some grout rehab. 

White Vinegar

White vinegar can prevent mold outbreaks entirely, so it’s not a bad idea to spray some on your moldiest areas and leave it there. Do this as often as needed, but we’d suggest applying white vinegar after every rigorous bathroom cleaning session. Vinegar can kill up to 82% of mold species, making it an attractive solution for homeowners on a budget. While the smell might not be pleasant, take comfort in the fact that it’s a natural cleaning method and won’t leave behind toxic fumes like bleach does.

Ammonia

Ammonia is a common cleaning agent and for good reason – it’s highly effective at combating mold spores. Wiping down all moldy surfaces with ammonia, scrubbing rigorously, and leaving it to do its thing for a couple of hours will go a long way. Once it’s done, wipe away all ammonia to reduce the scent. Never mix it with bleach, however.

New Grout

Unfortunately, grout doesn’t last forever. Particularly moldy bathrooms are sometimes beyond repair and need to be replaced. A professional tile and grout restoration specialist can determine if your mold is just surface-level or has spread behind your tiles and into your walls, repairing the problem however deep it goes.

For more information on how to best replace your grout or to schedule an appointment to have your tile and grout assessed for damage, contact Strictly Tile. Our team of experts can help beautify your bathroom and help your family breathe easier in a mold-free environment. Give us a call today!

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3 Secret Benefits of Tile Flooring

neutral colored tiles

Tile is a beautiful, natural material that boasts many aesthetic and tangible benefits, as we’ve talked about many times in the past. However, there are a few little-known reasons why tile is the perfect alternative to other flooring materials that homeowners should investigate before making a purchasing decision.

It’s Healthy

Tile flooring is manufactured with non-volatile materials in high-temperature kilns, which can be a big boost to your home’s indoor air quality. Cheap and shoddy wood flooring performs with mixed results in that regard and carpet is a perfect breeding ground for dangerous particles, so if members of your home are sensitive to poor indoor air quality, tile might be the perfect solution. Plus, tile that’s glazed with antimicrobial agents can reduce the growth potential for bacteria on the surface of the tile itself.

Fire Resistance

Ceramic tile, unlike many other flooring materials, is highly-resistant to flames and high heat. It won’t burn or emit toxic fumes, which will prevent the spread of house fires and won’t scorch or become discolored when exposed to hot surfaces. Even lit cigarettes, overturned candles, and hot pans or skillets won’t damage glazed ceramic tile, making it a great choice for use in kitchens or even for fireplace surrounds.

Long-Lasting Appeal

Did you know that ceramic tile is resistant to fading? Whereas hardwood, vinyl, and carpet will all lose their hue and sheen after long-term exposure to direct sunlight, ceramic tile won’t fade or lose its color under the same circumstances. With proper care and upkeep, your tile floor or countertop will retain its original appearance for many years. Glazed flooring is also resistant to scratching and water damage – great for kitchen floors that see a lot of activity.

Strictly Tile is the premier tile installation and maintenance expert in the Pacific Northwest. With decades of experience and dozens of finished projects to show off our work, we’re confident we can help conceptualize and deliver a final product that will satisfy your friends and family for years to come. Contact us today to discuss your project ideas and get an estimate!

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