Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Tile Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: DC Tile & Stone (2012)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a tile contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified tile company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated tile contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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  • Mapei

  • Schluter Systems

  • Daltile

  • Ceramic Tile Center

  • Hydroment

  • Laticrete

Roca Tile
Shaw Tile
United States Ceramic Tile
Keraben Tile
Mirage Tile
Portland Direct Tile & Stone
Mohawk Ceramic Tile
Riello Ceramic Tile
Granite Solution Tile
Avaire Tile
Armstrong Tile
Interceramic Tile
Eco Ceramica Tile
Florim USA
Laufen Tile
Incepa Tile
Efesus Stone Tile
Ilva Tile
Marazzi Tile
Orchid Ceramics Tile
Pietra Naturale Tile
Serenissima Group Tile
Florida Tile
American Olean Tile
Thompson Tile
Wanke Cascade Tile
Imola Tile

tile installation
bathroom tile installation
tile countertop
decorative tile
metal tiles
tile cutting
tile laying
vinyl tile
wall tile installation
granite tile
tile design
kitchen tile
tile backsplash installation
marble tile
shower tile installation
travertine tile floors
wood tile
outdoor tile
tile art installation
porcelain tile
slate tile
tile floor installation
ceramic floor tile
ceramic tiles
tile repair
porcelain tiles
Italian tile installation
pebble tile installation
mosaic tiles

Bel Marin Keys
Belvedere Tiburon
Black Point
Corte Madera
Dillon Beach
Forest Knolls
Kent Woodlands
Lucas Valley
Marin City
Mill Valley
Mission Rafael
Muir Beach
Muir Woods
Point Reyes Station
San Anselmo
San Geronimo
San Marin
San Quentin
San Rafael
Santa Venetia
Sleepy Hollow
Stinson Beach
Strawberry Point
Tamalpais Valley
Terra Linda


Know What You Want
Ask Local Tile Companies Some Relevant Questions About Your Tile Work

That first phone call can provide you with valuable information about the tile contracting company you are considering. It is a cheap and easy way to discover professional tile contractors who may fit your goals, and who may be trustworthy and dependable.

You may want to interview several tile installation companies over the phone before you decide who to hire to lay your new tile.

Remember, Diamond Certified tile contractors have already been rated highest in quality and are backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee.

Tile contractors in Marin County are often busy out on the job, including those who serve areas such as San Rafael, Novato, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax and Mill Valley. So if no one answers the phone right away, leave a message with your name and your phone number including the area code.

Pay attention to how quickly the local tile companies return your call. That can be valuable information.  A professional tiling contractor should return your call within one full business day. If you have to wait too long for a reply, it may be a sign that the tile company you’re considering is too busy, short-staffed or can be hard to reach. Those are all items that can cause work delays, so choose carefully if the company you’ve contacted takes too long to return your call.

When you call local tile contractors, briefly explain your project and ask some of the following questions, as well as any others that pertain to your specific situation.

  • What experience do you have with the type of tile project I am doing? (Are you doing floors, showers, counters, walls, or another project? Do you have a specific type of tile material chosen?)
  • Do you travel to my area of Marin County? Be sure to specify your location if you live in smaller towns like Olema, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Sleepy Hollow, Muir Woods, Dillon Beach or Dogtown. This can add extra travel charges if your tiling company is traveling a long distance to your home.
  • Do you usually help clients decide and refine their tile options? How?
  • What certifications does your tile company have?
  • Can you provide me with a free onsite estimate for tile installation services?
  • Are you available during the time frame that I need this project finished?
  • Why should I hire your tiling company for my tile installation project?
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What To Ask In Person
Question Local Tile Companies in Person

If things went well in your phone conversations, invite a few of the best tile contractors visit your home or business to see the project site firsthand.

No good tiling contractor can give you an accurate bid without viewing your home or business in detail. In fact, many tile contractors provide this service free of charge. This will give them a chance to accurately assess the current state of the room and see any items that will cause the job to be more complicated or expensive than expected. This on-site estimate protects their interests and yours.

Some questions to ask in person include these:

  • Who will be doing the doing the new tile installation? You, your employees, or other contractors?
  • If you hire subcontractors, are they covered under your insurance plan or do I need to verify insurance and licensing separately?
  • How many people would be visiting my property during the tile installation?
  • What process do you use to select and train employees?
  • Should I be present during the tile setting? Or can I leave my home or business in your care for the duration of the project?
  • How long can I expect this tile installation to last? What start and finish dates can you propose?
  • How long does a tiling project like this one usually take you?
  • Do you charge extra travel fees for driving to my home or business location?
  • What kind of mess can I expect during the tiling process, and where on my property can I expect it?
  • How will you protect my home and property from unnecessary dust, damage or construction debris?
  • Will I be able to live in my home while you are completing the project? If so, which areas will be off-limits to me and when?
  • Now that you have seen my property and heard about my plans, what suggestions do you have for me?
  • Does your price estimate include materials or do I pay for those separately?
  • How sure are you of the quoted price? Have you factored in for extra time or broken tiles, etc? (If not, you may want to ask for an adjusted estimate that includes a worst-case scenario or extra line item for average unexpected expenses?
  • When can you start?
  • Will you leave my job mid-way through to work on other jobs? If so, will this delay the finish time of my job?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview References of Marin County Tile Contractors and Tile Setters

    It’s best to choose Diamond Certified home tiling companies because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other tile contractors can’t pass. If you want quality from a tile setter in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company.

    If you have found one or more local tile contractors who fit your needs, there is another smart step that may help you make your final decision.

    Ask the Marin County tile contractors you’re considering for a list of references from their recent work.

    After all, who better to testify what it is like to work with the tile contractor under consideration than someone who has worked with them in a similar capacity as you’re planning?

    Of course each person has different needs, so some of the opinions and accounts you hear may not be applicable to you or may not take into account your expectations. But by listening carefully, you might uncover a red flag or a hidden jewel of data that helps you make a final decision on the best Marin County tile company for you.

    • Were you satisfied with the work provided by this tile contractor?
    • Did the tile setters complete the work within the timeline that they originally told you?
    • Was the project over or under budget?
    • If the project was over budget, why? Could anything have been done to prevent the unexpected expenses?
    • Did this Marin County tile contractor help you create a tiled room as good as better than you had originally imagined?
    • What was the best thing about hiring this tile contractor?
    • What was the worst thing about hiring this Marin County tile contractor?
    • Were you comfortable with the tile company employees who worked on your project?
    • Did you feel like this company provided you with professional tile service?
    • Would you recommend this tile contractor to friends or family members? Why or why not?
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  • Review Your Options
    Consider Your Options for New Home Tile Installation

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    By now, you should have a lot of quality information to work with. The great thing about contacting Diamond Certified tile contractors in your area, is that the most important concerns have already been eliminated.

    American Ratings Corporation has already screened each local tiling contractor stringently for up-to-date qualifications. These contractors have an excellent track record, as well as current certifications to legally complete your project.

    In the rare case of a problem, your project will be backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee. The only thing you need to decide is which local tiling contractor best aligns with your needs.

    Take a look at the notes you’ve taken while speaking with the contractor on the phone, and at the visit to your property, as well as comments from the references provided. A decision shouldn’t be hard to make. Take that step forward and choose your local tile contractor.

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  • How To Work With
    Benefit from Your Contract with Marin County Tile Companies

    During any tile installation process, it is important to work with your tile contractor as your partner. The tile contractor needs your input, and you need their expertise. Be very clear about your vision for the project.

    If you are having a countertop installed, be sure to discuss whether you want a tile backsplash installed as well, and what kind of detail you’ve imagined for the finished project. If a certain type of specialty tile, like Italian tile or pebble tile interests you, let your contractor know right away. They can discuss with you the pro’s and con’s of each type of tile in your particular environment.

    Collect samples to show your Marin County tiling contractors – be they magazine photos, or sample tiles from your local hardware store. Certain types of embellishments could be difficult to install, so discuss that all before the project gets underway.

    You may also ask if your chosen tile contractor typically works with, or recommends a specific brand of tile. If so, which brand is it? And why do they recommend that brand? they should be able to answer your questions and prove to you that they have your best interests in mind.

    Once you know what kind of tile you’ll be working with, you should confirm the state of the property before the tile installation begins. Ask your tile contractor if they will do demolition of the existing area, of if you need to handle that another way.

    Also, will the local tile contractor you’re considering complete the basics, like installing drywall, greenboard or hardybacker in the space before they begin placing tile? Will they be able to provide all the finishing services you require after the new tile installation? Or will you need to hire another company to do these parts of the job?

    This is important because it can impact your happiness with the finished job, as well as your bottom line and schedule. Be sure you have a clear answer before you move forward by signing the contract.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    Simple Steps You Can Take to Be a Good Tile Contractor Customer

    Just as you want to be treated with respect by any contractor who enters your home, Marin County tile contractors hope for a pleasant experience when they come to work each day.

    Remember – your home is also the contractor’s workplace, if only for a few days. A good contractor will be very conscientious of your comfort and privacy.

    The following tips will help you be the kind of customer that encourages local tile layers to excel at their job and customer service.

    • Be sure to arrive promptly for appointments or meetings with your Marin County tile contractor.
    • Provide your Marin County tile contractor with all the contact information he will need, including the address of your property, and your daytime phone numbers, as well as anyone else he might need to contact such as a family member, additional contractor or insurance agent.
    • Consider how the contractor and his team will access your property during the project. Make sure that someone will be there to let them in every time they come and go, or make sure that they have keys or codes to every necessary gate and door.
    • If you are purchasing materials for the project, have them ready and available. Many contractors are willing to purchase materials for you, which is one less step to worry about.
    • Communicate your ideas and wishes clearly. Don’t make your tile contractor guess what it is you want.
    • Once you have communicated your wishes, trust your tile contractor to carry the job through to completion in excellence.
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Check The Work
Review the Finished Tile Installation

If you are available during the tile installation process, your Marin County tile contractor should be willing to show you the progress at different points throughout the job.

Ask all the questions you need, and assure that things are progressing in the right direction. Observe carefully what is happening, and prevent any misunderstandings from causing a problem later on. The best tile contractors in Marin County have an excellent track record for quality work and ideal customer service, so this should be a breeze.

After completion of your new tile floor, tile shower enclosure, tile countertop with backsplash, or other project, there will be time for a final inspection. Take a moment to enjoy your beautiful new tile addition.

If there are any final comments or adjustments, now is the time to discuss them. You have much greater odds of being satisfied with the completed work if you carefully plan and discuss any specifics you do or do not want.

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Written Warranties
Ask for All Guarantees In Writing from Local Tile Installers

Many tile companies in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Larkspur, Emeryville, Piedmont, San Lorenzo or Corte Madera offer warranties on their tile work. But these warranties can differ widely.

It’s up to you to understand the warranty you’re offered and what it covers. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Does the warranty cover materials, or just labor?
  • Are there certain items that are exceptions to the warranty?
  • How long does the warranty last on these tiling services?
  • Is there an additional cost for the warranty, or can you purchase an extended warranty for additional coverage?
  • Does the warranty name the tile contractor as the responsible party? Or the manufacturer? How will you know which one is at fault or responsible for any problems or claims?

Whatever the details of the new tile installation warranty, make sure that you get a copy of it, and file it in a safe place. Also, make sure you know who to contact, and how to contact them if there is ever a need for you to make a warranty claim.

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Top 10 Requests
Popular Tile Services in Marin County

The following tiling services are the most commonly requested in Marin County and the surrounding areas. Every tile company and tile contractor provides a different range of services, though, so be sure you talk with your tiling contractor about the specific requirements of your job and whether or not the company you’re considering can fill your needs.

Your tiling contractor should also be able to give you advise as to whether a particular type of tile or tile installation method is a good fit for your home or office.

Tile Countertops
Tile provides an affordable, durable hard surface for kitchen, bathroom or workroom countertops. It is also easily molded into the perfect shape for irregular islands or specialty additions. Use a diamond certified tile contractor to help you create a totally unique look that works perfectly.

Tile Backsplash Installation
A backsplash is an area of tile about a sink or countertop that lines the wall to protect that vulnerable area from splashing liquids or other matter. Apart from adding a very practical benefit, a quality tile backsplash can provide an amazing transformation to the look and feel of your room. The huge variety of tile patterns and textures is nearly unlimited. Mosiac tiles and specialty designs are often used in backsplash designs. In particular the spaces above a kitchen stove, sink or bathtub are wonderful areas to feature an artful tile design. Ask your Marin County tile installers for suggestions to add a special touch to your room.

Glass Tile Installation
Glass tiles can be large or small, tinted, opaque, iridescent, smooth or rough. Some glass tiles available from Marin County tile setters are even formed from recycled glass. Glass tile provides an unmistakeable and unique look with depth. Glass tile can add something special to your design, be it a tile walkway, a special border accent, a backsplash, an entire room, or a tiled swimming pool.

Tile Mosiacs/Tile Designs
Good tile contractors in San Rafael, Mill Valley, Livermore, Novato, San Anselmo, Larkspur or your area can provide a professional opinion, a variety of inspirational examples, and the quality expertise you can count on to create an exceptional tile design in your home or work environment. Tile designs incorporate the ambience you choose for your area by utilizing the perfect combination of color, texture, placement and artistry. A tile mosaic may be premade and placed by an expert tile craftsman, or could be something formed specifically for you by a talented tile artist.

Subway Tiles
There are very basic, creative ways to use simple subway tiles to complete your signature effect. Subway tiles are the traditional white, glazed ceramic tiles found on the walls of New York City subway stations in the early 1900s. Most are three inches by six inches, and laid in an offsetting pattern. However, almost any rectangular tile can be referred to as Subway Tile.

Granite Tile
Beautiful granite tile is always a high class option for your home or office. The distinct look and classy polished feel of granite set your space a step above the rest. Many opt for granite in high-impact areas like entryways, showcase rooms, and open kitchens. You’ll definitely want a qualified contractor to complete your granite work, and give this luxury-worthy substance the quality setting and careful design that it deserves.

Tile Flooring
Tile floors are long-lasting, attractive and easy to clean. It is no wonder that tile flooring is one of the top requested tile installation projects. Tile is especially popular for hallways, entryways, bathroom and kitchen floors. When choosing tile for flooring you’ll need to consider how much traffic might pass through that area. Porcelain and ceramic tile manufacturers rate tile from Class 1 to Class 5 for durability. Class five is the most resilient tile. Natural stone tiles do not come with this rating system.

Another factor to consider with flooring is how slippery it might be – particularly in areas with lots of moisture. In general, it is best to choose a matte tile over glossy for flooring in bathrooms, kitchen and entryways. However, ultra-smooth tiles such as marble are often chosen for flooring despite the danger of slipping. Your Marin County tile contractor can assist you with such decisions if you like.

Shower Tile Installation in Marin County
A tiled shower enclosure is the way to go. Tile is durable and water proof, but in addition allows you to choose a distinguished look for this important space. Tile in the bathroom can include floors, countertops, room dividers, walls, shower walls or any other surface. Local tile contractors who care about customer satisfaction will help you choose shower floor tiles with an appropriate amount of grip to prevent falls. They can also build in custom shelves, grips, soapdishes, etc. to suit your needs

Tile Kitchen
Installing tile in your kitchen is an obvious choice. What better surface to beautify your home while protecting surfaces from the wear and tear of a moist environment with fluctuating temperatures? Quality tile will repel moisture, keeping spills easy to clean, as well as protecting from steam condensation. Classic tile installations for Marin County kitchens includes tile floors, tile counters, tile backsplash, and tiled kitchen islands. Tile is the perfect solution, easily personalized for any kitchen environment.

Install Outdoor Tile
Tile is also a great medium for outdoor landscaping projects. Beautiful Marin County has many gorgeous examples of using tile to beautify an outdoor space, and increase its utility. Tile walkways, stepping stones, trails, bench blocks, fountains, pools, and patios are all excellent examples of how tile can create something wonderful outside.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Tile Service

acid wash tile
Treatment to the face of a stone to achieve a distressed texture or finish.

Tile adhesive is an adhesive substance used to bond tile to a surface.

The wall area located between the countertop and upper cabinets is known as a backsplash. Backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms are often made of tile or decorative tile sheets to prevent water from damaging the wall.

The proper positioning of adjacent floor slabs, or tiles, by their predominant color.

A strip of tile with contrasting design, texture or color is known as a border.

brushed finish
A specialty finish from treating the stone surface with a coarse wire rotary brush.

A trim tile with a convex radius or finished edge on one side.

Slathering a bond coat of thinset to the back of a tile immediately before the tile is installed. Helps ensure a level surface.

A soft, water resistant material used for sealing.

A trim connecting tile with one edge a concave radius.

The time period for adhesive to set fully (or cure) is known as the cure-time

decorative tile
Decorative tiles are any tile with decorations or designs on the surface.

epoxy adhesive
Epoxy tile adhesive is a two part adhesive system used for bonding ceramic tile or stone to backing material.

epoxy grout
Epoxy grout is a two–part grout system used to fill joints between tiles. Stain and chemical resistant epoxy grout is a popular choice.

field tile
Field tile is the primary type of tile used to cover a wall or floor.

A popular method of aligning mortar using a straightedge is known as ‘floating’.

floor tile
Floor tiles are a tiles of any material durable enough to withstand traffic, pressure and abrasion.

frost resistant tile
Vitreous tile that absorbs .5% to 3% is considered frost-resistant tile.

frost proof tile
Frost proof tile is tile that is impervious to water or that absorbs 0% to 0.5%.  This type of tile is recommended for outdoor use in areas where the temperature ever falls near or below freezing.

Tile grout is a material used to fill the joints between tiles. It may be made of silica sand, cement and a chemical mix. Tile grout is available in many colors.

glazed tile
Glazed tiles are those with a finish of gaseous ceramic materials fused to the surface of the tile.

granite tiles
Granite tiles are made of granite, a very durable natural stone that is more dense than marble. Granite tiles are available in polished, honed or flamed (rough) surfaces and are ideal for indoor or outdoor use

impervious tile
Impervious tile has a water absorption of 0.5% or less and is therefore considered impervious to water.

limestone tiles
Limestone is a sedimentary stone that can have fossils or shells embedded in it. Limestone tiles are softer than other types of natural stone tiles and usually have a matte finish.

A decorative tile border, primarily for walls.

marble tiles
Marble tiles are made of marble, a natural stone product with a distinctive polished shine. Marble tiles add a rich, luxurious look to any room.

Tile mastic is a ready to use organic glue used for holding tiles in place.

This is a method of producing tile by a single firing in which the tile body and glazes are fired in kilns at temperatures over 2000 degrees.

Tile designs mounted on mesh and cemented in place are known as mosaics. Many shapes and designs available with any type of tile including glass, ceramic, metal, porcelain and stone.

“Mud” is the slang term referring to thick mortar made of sand and cement.

porcelain tile
Porcelain tiles are harder and more durable than ceramic tile due to the ingredients and higher firing temperature. Porcelain tiles have very low water absorption and are quite stain resistant.

Tile sealant is applied to prevent the absorption of liquids into tiles. Sealant is used with porous materials like quarry tile, grout, and natural stone. Sealer is not necessary for glazed ceramic tile.

Slate tiles are made of a natural material with colors ranging from grey to purple to black. Slate tiles are popular for use outside and inside.

Tile spacers are small plastic pieces that are used in installation to evenly separate tile. Tile spacers are manufactured in various thicknesses and shapes to accommodate different tile designs.

Substrate is the underlayment for the ceramic tile installation. Different types of tiles require various substrates to support the tile body.

The bond coat in a thin bed installation is known as ‘thin-set’. It is made of sand, cement and usually a latex additive.

Similar in composition to limestone but with holes created by hot springs, travertine is a popular type of natural stone tile.  Travertine tile colors include beige, red, yellow and brown, with some variation from piece to piece.

tumbled tiles
Tumbled tiles are created with a specialty finish. This finish is created with a tumbling machine or acid, which wears down the natural surface of stone tiles for a unique appearance.

vitreous tile
Vitreous tile has water absorption of more than 0.5%, but not more than 3%.

wall tile
Glazed tile with a body suitable for interior use is often called ‘wall tile’. Not expected to withstand excessive impact or be subject to freezing/thawing conditions, wall tile is also not is not appropriate for use on a floor.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Tile Contractors

Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Tile Contractor?
A: Diamond Certified tile contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Only local tile contractors who have proved their quality work and superior customer service through an in-depth rating process earn Diamond Certified.

Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Tile Contractor?
A: Diamond Certified tile contractors are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Only local tile contractors who have proved their quality work and superior customer service through an in-depth rating process earn Diamond Certified.

Q: What rights to I have as a customer of a Diamond Certified tile contractor?
A:Customers of Diamond Certified tile contractors have the right to receive a written estimate of services before the project begins. The Diamond Certified Guarantee ensures that all aspects of the original contract be met, as well as complete customer satisfaction. The work is already done for you to hand pick the best of the best contractors who have a well deserved reputation for excellence and customer service. If anything goes awry, American Ratings Corporation is there to back up the work to your satisfaction.

Q: Is it really important to choose a certified contractor to complete my tile project?
A: Tile installation is a labor intensive process. Once it is completed, it is a semi-permanent renovation that will add value to your home or property. Fixing a bad tile job usually requires everything to be torn out and completely redone. So you want your tile work done right the first time. Hiring an unlicensed contractor, or an unknown tile guy means you have no legal way to ensure that any mistakes will be remedied should they occur. It could be an expensive lesson.

Q: How long will my tile installation take to complete?
A: The time it takes to complete your tile installation project depends upon several factors including the size of the area to tile, if it is ready to begin working, and what kind of materials and designs you will include. Adding decorative designs or special features will take longer than just covering the surface with a single color tile. In general, tile jobs take from a couple days to a couple of weeks depending on the scope of work and availability of the contractor’s crew. Be sure to ask your tile company representative for an estimate of work completion before they begin. You can request to make this timeline part of your written contract.

Q: How will tiling my property affect the value of my property?
A: A quality tile job can make a huge positive difference in the value of your home on the resale market. Home buyers notoriously prefer upgraded kitchens in particular. A special feature like a beautiful fountain in a tiled patio, artfully tiled pool area, or a uniquely tiled bathroom may be just the feature that captures the heart, and the pocketbook of your buyer. Tile is more durable, and more customizable than many other common surface covers like linoleum, vinyl or formica. Tile installation is as much an art as a trade. The right artist can work a miracle in your home.

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