Here are some of the most asked questions (along with the answers) that come through Metropolitan Ceramics customer service.
Do I have to seal my tile?
No, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile does not have to be sealed. Because the tile is extruded (which compacts the tile body tightly) and is then fired at high temperatures, the tile has a tight outer skin. This makes the tile low absorption so that it does not require sealing. However, in areas subject to heavy traffic and spills of grease and oil you may choose to seal the tile and the grout with a penetrating sealer.
What kind of sealer can I use to seal my tile?
When sealing Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile use a water based penetrating sealer only, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Never use a surface type sealer as it may affect the surface of the tile negatively both in looks and in slip resistance.
Can quarry tile be used for baking in an oven?
Although not designed for this purpose we frequently get this question about Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile. People do buy it for use in an oven for baking food like bread and pizza. The appeal seems to be that the tiles help evenly distribute the heat for a better crust. We do not sell it for this purpose, but many people buy it and swear by its use.
Does the tile contain lead or chemicals?
The tile is made up of clay and shale and fired in kilns at 2,000 degrees. It is an inert material and does not contain or give off any harmful substances, nor does it contain any lead.
Can the tile be installed on a driveway or in a garage?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile has been successfully installed in driveways and garages (both residential and commercial) throughout the United States. Because it is 1/2″ thick, a low absorption tile, and is hard fired, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is extremely durable and can withstand the weight of cars, light and medium duty trucks, and machinery. It can be used on driveways in any climate. Failure would only result from not following correct installation procedures for the installation type. We recommend using a qualified tile contractor and following the Tile Council of North America guidelines for your installation.
Can the tile be used outside?
Yes, the low absorption nature of the tile (less than 3% and qualifies as vitreous) makes it suitable for use outdoors in any climate.
How do I clean my tile floor?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile makes available a complete cleaning and maintenance guide on their website at http://www.metroceramics.com. Briefly though, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can be maintained with warm water and a neutral cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap or Spic and Span. No harsh chemicals are needed to maintain the floor. Simply use a two bucket system (one with clean water/ cleaner and one to wring the mop in) to remove dirt from the floor. Change mop water regularly. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile floors can be maintained with environment friendly cleaners and can be part of a green maintenance program.
Can I paint on your tile then re-fire it?
We cannot guarantee the results of adding glaze to the surface and re-firing our products. Any attempt to do so are at the risk of the purchaser and would void the warranty. Painting the surface (with a latex or oil based paint) in general would also be at the risk of the purchaser.
Can you make a 12″x12″ quarry tile?
Because of the nature of the product (extruded from a die instead of pressed) we have found the limits of successful production to be no larger than 4″x12″ or 6″x9″. Our most popular sizes are 4″x8″, 8″x8″, and 6″x6″.
Is there trim for Down to Earth® / Eco Quarry™ / EnviroQuarry™ / DuraQuarry™?
For the Down to Earth product use corresponding un-textured range color or single tone color trim. For Eco Quarry (3/8″ thick product) use #310 Mayflower Red bullnose trim. For all recycled products use #310 Mayflower Red trim selections.
Can I use a grout joint width more narrow than the recommended 3/8″?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is designed to be used with a 3/8″ grout joint. The 3/8″ joint along with the tiles relieved edge adds to the slip resisting characteristics of the floor. Since the tile is designed for use with a 3/8″ joint the 4″ x 8″ and 8″ x 8″ sizes are nominal and will not fit together in certain patterns if a smaller joint is used. There have been instances where our tile has been laid in certain patterns using a 1/4″ joint, but this is not the norm nor is it recommended. Certainly no joint size smaller than 1/4″ should ever be considered.
I want to tile my concrete porch but it’s cracked. What can I do?
Depending on the size and severity of the cracking, it may be successfully tiled with the use of a crack isolation system (something that should be done anyway when tiling outdoors) available through a number of installation material manufacturers. There may also be material available for successfully patching the concrete. See a tile installation professional for help in determining the best course of action. Also, be aware of the need for expansion joints in your outdoor project.
Can I cut the tile with a manual tile cutter, or do I need to use a wet saw?
Since Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is hard fired and 1/2″ thick it can be difficult to cut with a manual tile cutter. Some more expensive heavy-duty commercial manual cutters will work, but we recommend the use of a wet saw to cut the tile. Even when using a wet saw, it is recommended to use a better saw and not one from the lower price range with a small motor and less power. Tile nippers are also recommended for trimming the tile and making detailed adjustments.
I have quarry tile installed on my sidewalks. Will salt or de-icing agents damage my tile?
Our tile is produced much in the same way as road paving bricks and will stand up to normal winter maintenance including use of de-icing agents and salt.
What is the difference between quarry tile and ceramic tile?
Ceramic quarry tile is a member of the ceramic tile family. It is fired in a kiln and made of clay and shale like other ceramic tile but has certain attributes that put it in the specific category of quarry tile. Attributes such as low absorption, unglazed surface, high firing temperature, and the fact that it is extruded – for example.
Can the tile be used in a fireplace?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is not rated for use in a fireplace. It can be used for a hearth, on the outside of a fireplace or behind a wood burning stove.
Can the tile be used in or around a pool? Will chlorine hurt the tile?
The tile is not recommended for use in a pool. It can however be used surrounding a pool. Chlorinated water splashing on the tile will not hurt the tile.
Is it ok to walk on the tile with cleats?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can take the weight and pressure dispersed through the cleats on sports shoes. The tiles are installed in the locker room at the Pro Football Hall of Fame for example. However, when installing in areas where cleats will be worn special attention must be paid to installing the tile properly, making sure there are no voids between the tile and thinset and by not tiling over uneven surfaces. A professional tile installer should be consulted for this type of installation.
Can the tile be used in a freezer?
Yes, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can be used in a walk in freezer. What makes Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile so versatile is that it can be used in extreme temperatures. In a commercial kitchen for example the tile can be used in all areas, from the walk in freezer to the commercial dishwasher and oven areas.
Is the tile acid resistant?
There is no yes or no answer to this question. The corrosive attributes of acids at full strength or nearly full strength will negatively affect most surfaces. And effects will vary widely depending on the type of acid and how much it is diluted. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile will have some resistance to most well diluted acids found in typical commercial and residential applications, providing the spill is cleaned up properly and expediently.
How long does the grout need to set before cleaning it off?
It is important to read all instructions on the grout packaging before using any grout. Each grout will have a slightly different formula and different instructions for cleanup. As a general guideline for sanded grout, once the grout is floated into the joints an initial cleanup using damp terrycloth towels or damp tile sponges can begin. Clean the tile surface (taking care not to pull grout from the joints) to the point of light haze immediately following grouting. Take care not to use too much water in the clean up because this might negatively affect the grout color. Follow up the next day (after the grout has hardened) with a final cleaning to remove the haze.
What can I use to remove grout haze?
Simply re-wetting the surface with water and scrubbing with a clean sponge and nylon pad like a Scotch Brite Pad is usually all that is required. Never use steel wool, a wire brush or scouring pad as they will negatively affect the tile surface. In cases of more dense haze, grout haze removers are available from tile product manufacturers and should do the trick.
Does the tile off gas?
No, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is fired to temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and once fired is an inert material. The tile does not produce any toxic fumes and does not promote mold or bacteria growth.
Can epoxy grout be used?
Yes, epoxy grout can be used following the grout manufacturer’s instructions and is an effective alternative to sanded grout in some applications. Use and cleanup of epoxy grout varies from sanded grout and may be more involved.
Is the tile ADA compliant?
Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile meets ADA guidelines and manufactures two trim pieces specifically designed as barrier free components. One is Q8485 a transition tile and the other is Q1485T a stair tread with a rounded leading edge.