When installing tile on shower walls, it’s important to use a cement board as a water protective barrier. Putting tile directly on drywall could lead to significant water damage.
“I see a lot of tile installation that has gone bad,” Tony Saba of Mr. Grout and Tile in New Palestine, Ind. “With grout that hasn’t been sealed, I see a lot of loose tiles and crumbling grout. That can be repaired by removing the tiles and installing new tiles. I recommend anyone who has a new tile floor installed buy extra tile. If something happens down the road and (you crack) a tile, you don’t have to replace the whole floor.”
Steenbergen says her company offers tile for anything from bathroom floors and walls, to kitchen backsplashes, to sunrooms.
Ceramic and porcelain tile are similar in durability and quality, but porcelain is made from a harder material and can withstand cold temperatures, making it more suitable for an enclosed porch, for example. Marble and granite are made of natural stone and offer a more polished look.
“The main thing people have to realize about marble and granite is, because they are a natural stone, they have to be sealed periodically,” Steenbergen says. “If you set a hot pot off a stove on granite, it could damage it. It’s a very porous product, so it will stain unless it’s sealed.”