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FREQUENT QUESTIONS

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Products

  • Are any of your tiles suitable for floors? Our Cuban Heritage cement tiles can be used as flooring, and offer durability with design flexibility. Because of their resistance and versatility, cement tiles are perfect for flooring a bathroom, kitchen, dining room or outdoor patio. With a wide array of colors and designs available, you can easily coordinate cement tiles into any space.

    All of our ceramic tiles are suitable for floors in non-commercial applications when used as an accent tile. However, many tile lines come with a high-gloss glaze that presents a slipping hazard when used to cover an entire floor or in wet locations, like a shower or bath.

    For instance, consider using tiles in the Portuguese and Crackle lines only as accent tiles on the floor.

  • Can your tiles be used in showers, spas, and swimming pools? Yes, our tile can also be used in showers, spas, and swimming pools as long as it is not exposed to temperatures below freezing.

    For ease of maintenance, we often recommend a tile that has been fired a second time with a clear glaze. Tiles finished with a clear top coat have a smooth finish that resists mineral deposits, as well as soap and pool-scum build-up over time.

    Tiles in the following lines would provide the easiest maintenance over time: Barcelona, Cairo, Crackle, Gone Fishing, Portuguese, Portuguese Field, Reef Mural, Talavera, Whimsical Animals, Whimsical Sea Life, Yucatan.

  • Can your tiles be used outside? Yes. Our tiles can be used outside, but usually not in frosty environments. Vitreous or porcelain tile must be used in frosty environments. Vitreous tile is a type of tile that does not absorb water.

    Ceramic Tile Rated for Freeze Thaw Cycles

    • Yucatan field tile is vitreous tile and an ideal choice for countertops, fireplaces, pools, and fountains.

    • Malibu decorative tile is High Fire Stoneware and suitable for environments subjected to freeze thaw cycles. It can be ordered with a modified glaze for wet applications.

    • Clay Arabesque decorative tile is freeze thaw tested but deicing minerals can still damage the surface of the tile. We recommend that in freeze thaw climates it is especially important to seal unglazed tile well using a high quality penetrating sealer.

    Cement Tiles Rated for Freeze Thaw Cycles

    Two cement tile lines are rated for freeze thaw cycles:

  • How thick is your tile? Exact product dimensions are shown on each product detail page.

    In general, most of our tile is 3/8" (0.375" or 10 mm) thick. However, tiles in the Crackle line are about 1/2" (0.5" or 13 mm) thick.

    Cement tile is about 5/8" thick.

Ordering

  • Can I place an order online? Yes, you may place an order securely online, or you may call us toll free at 888.739.4972 to place an order. DO NOT send payment information via email; it is not secure.

  • Do you provide sample tiles? We are happy to provide samples at the price per tile shown. There is no minimum order, but shipping and handling fees do apply to sample orders. Please see our ordering information for detailed information.

  • Do you ship orders to locations outside of the United States? Yes, we currently ship orders to the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. We do not ship orders to South America, Africa, Asia, or Eastern Europe. Additional handling charges do apply.

  • How quickly can I get my tiles? Most samples ship within 2 to 3 days. Residential orders ship within 5-7 days. Larger orders, commercial orders, and special orders are shipped in 6 to 8 weeks.

Customer Service

  • Can you send me a catalog? In an effort to offer the best possible pricing, we do not produce printed catalogs. Our entire tile collection is online.

  • I need to talk to someone. What are your business hours? If you need to speak to a customer service representative, please call us toll free at 888.739.4972, 9 AM - 5 PM PST, Monday through Friday.

  • May I return my tiles? Yes. If for any reason you wish to return your purchase, you may do so. We accept returns within 30 days of receipt of the package.

    All return merchandise is subject to a 20% re-stocking fee. We regret that shipping and handling charges are nonrefundable.

Cement Tile

  • Are any of your cement tiles rated for freeze thaw cycles? Yes, these cement tile lines are rated for frosty environments:

  • Can I cut the moldings if I want a narrower width than 3" Yes. You can cut the moldings down to 1" width and still preserve the rounding of the bullnose. Remember to cut cement tiles with a wet saw and diamond blade.

  • Can I get a double bullnose or corner bullnose piece? Yes. You can get a solid color cement tile in a double bullnose as a 3" x 10" molding. You need to specify which ends or corner needs the bullnose, though. This is available in the Heritage colors only.

  • Can I get a patterned cement tile with a bullnose edge? No. Only solid color cement tile tiles are available with a bull nose in some lines.

  • Can I get a transition to a double bullnose from a single bullnose edge? Yes. You can use single bullnose molding (5.5" x 8") and transition to double bullnose 3" x 10" to make a smooth transistion on a wall application. There is about a 1 mm to 0.5 mm difference in the radius.

  • Can I install cement tiles in my home if I have a wooden sub-floor?

    Yes. For residential flooring applications, we recommend you make sure to install cement tiles on a backer board with a 1/2" plywood sub-floor above the floor boards. However, if the house is on a hill or an older home and subject to settling, the floor may suffer some damage due to movement over time. This slow movement or settling may cause some tiles to break over time; but, it is very rare.

    Most importantly, an extremely level surface is critical for any cement tile floor installation.

    For commercial applications, we only recommend that you install over a flat, level and stable cured concrete surface.

  • Can I miter the bullnose trim to create a picture frame for a wall application? No. The bullnose moldings can't be mitered.

  • Can I use cement tiles for my pool?

    Yes. But you need to seal the tiles with a sealer that is appropriate to withstand pool chemicals. Avente Tile offers NO guarantee in resistance to chemicals.

    Cement tiles can and have worked in pool applications; but we have not controlled the sealing process.

  • Can I use stone as a border outside the 'rug' or patterned cement tile area?

    Yes. Stone, travertine or marble can be used instead of a solid color cement tile. In fact, cement tile floors are very frequently installed this way.

  • Can you use radiant heat sources in the floor with cement tile?

    We haven't had any specific experience with using radiant heat in cement tile floors, but it should not be a problem. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation as you would for ceramic tile floors and make sure to evenly distribute the heat source over the flooring area.

  • Do I need to seal my cement tile before grouting? You may seal your tile prior to grouting, to act as a grout release. This is not as important for polished tile as it is for raw or unpolished cement tile. Polished tile have a smoother surface and grout does not stick to them as much as unpolished. The tile must be sealed again after installation and grouting. For tips, please watch this demonstration video and learn how to grout cement tiles.

  • How do I install and maintain cement tile?

    Installing cement tiles is a fairly simple process. Cement tiles are installed similar to stone. Make sure to apply a penetrating sealer after installation is complete because cement is a porous material, like natural stone.

    To help, follow our Installation, Maintenance, and Care of Cement Tile guide.

  • I like cement tiles, but how much do they cost per square foot? The cost for most cement tiles ranges from about $9 to $17 per square foot.

  • I want to install a bar foot rail or bar shelf support, how do I drill a hole through the tile? A diamond head drill should work fine. We recommend that the installer complete a test run first with the desired bit size and the edge of the cut should be at least 1" from the edge of the tile.

  • What color grout can I use with my cement tile? You may use colored or white grout. If you decide to use colored grout we recommend that it be a color that is the same, or lighter than the lightest color used in the pattern.

  • What do I need to know about cement tile before I buy? Cement tile is different in many respects than its more ubiquitous cousin, ceramic tile. It's these differences that often surprise folks and let's face it, nobody needs a surprise like that. To prevent that kind of a surprise, we thought we'd detail what you need to know before buying cement tile. Cement Tile: 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy.

  • What sizes of cement tile base molding or trim are available?
    1. 3.75" x 10"
    2. 3" x 10"
    3. 5.5" x 8"
    4. 3" x 8"
    5. 8" x 8" Skirting (Decorative Edge)

    Cement Tile Moldings

Hand Painted Tile

  • Are inexpensive tiles thin because they use less clay to keep costs down?

    No. Inexpensive tiles are thin because they are typically mass produced by a machine that allows the clay to be compressed into a dense but thinner tile.

    All tiles are not the same thickness and most handmade tile lines are thicker than inexpensive tile lines.

  • Are surface glaze irregularities considered defects in handmade tile?

    No. Surface glaze irregularities like pin-holes, occasional small specks, glaze build-up, glazed-over nicks and chips are not defects. The hand of the ceramic artist is evident in the irregularities and variation that is inherent in a handmade and hand glazed tile and part of their charm.

  • Are thick tile stronger and more durable than thinner tile?

    No. The thickness of tile has to do with the method of production and the type of clay body and bisque, not its strength and durability.

  • Are tiles made of white clay bodies or bisque superior to those made with red clay bodies?

    No. However, to maintain color purity when glazing over red clay, an initial layer called an "engobe" is applied. Using white clay eliminates this step and may help keep production costs down.

  • Can any of your ceramic tiles be used in frosty environments? Yes, these ceramic tiles are rated for freeze thaw cycles:
  • Yucatan field tile is vitreous tile and an ideal choice for countertops, fireplaces, pools, and fountains.
  • Malibu decorative tile is High Fire Stoneware and suitable for environments subjected to freeze thaw cycles. It can be ordered with a modified glaze for wet applications.
  • Clay Arabesque decorative tile is freeze thaw tested but deicing minerals can still damage the surface of the tile. We recommend that in freeze thaw climates it is especially important to seal unglazed tile well using a high quality penetrating sealer.

  • Can I mix white or off-white glazes from different tile manufacturers or lines on the same installation?

    No. NEVER mix white, off-white or neutral glazes from different tile lines. Factories use different bisque and glaze recipes and over the expanse of a wall or floor, they can look very different from one another. Even if the samples look close there is too much variation when installed next to each other and this problem is amplified with hand painted glazes. A sample cannot tell the whole story.

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