Countdown to Coverings 2024: Q+A with Certified Finishes

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With Coverings just around the corner, we’re getting ready by talking all things tile! We recently sat down with Certified Finishes, an Atlanta-based flooring contractor specializing in sales and installation services of all commercial flooring products in every market segment to pick their brains on some of the best practices in tile.

TVS: When specifying tile, there are several important factors that designers and specifiers should keep in mind to ensure the success of the project, what do you think they are?

Certified: Keep in mind the application that the tile is being used for. For instance, if trying to have tile on a curved wall, mosaic tile would be the best versus large porcelain panels. If you do large porcelain panels on a curved wall you will have facets. If you try to cut the tile in field, you will have several problems including breakage, chipping, lots of waste. Also keep in mind lead times and details needed for the tile to look its best: schluter color style, grout colors, install directions, joint size and dilex vs. bullnose.

TVS: Getting into large porcelain panels, what would you say is the most used and recommend?

Certified: 24 x 48 is most common size on floors, occasionally will see larger but from products that are designed to be specifically be used on floors

TVS: What is your favorite tile or tile type to install, or type?

Certified: A great tile that makes the installer very happy is 12” x 24” or even 18” x 36” if you are looking for less grout. These sizes are the best for easy installation.

TVS: Is there a pattern that you recommend that is a easy to install and enhance the visual appeal of a tile?

Certified: A pattern that looks great and comes out very nice is chevron. A few manufacturers have a chevron already manufactured and makes the install easier. One thing to note is making sure that a chevron pattern is still straight, and this is something that the installer will have more issues with. Another great pattern that is easier for installation is Basketweave

TVS: There are always concerns on grout what would you say are – rules of thumb, cleaning, specifying?

Certified: The Mapei FA Grout is great because it sets quickly and doesn’t shrink which makes the grout fill out the entire joint.  This allows for a cleaner looking installation.

TVS: The artisan, handmade, look for tile is very on trend currently. What are issues that designers should be aware of with this type of tile?

Certified: When using this tile, you will get larger grout joints and also be expensive. This tile type also comes with lots of maintenance and lots of questions when installing. A lot of these tiles are slightly different sizes, so they do not line up perfectly as well. A lot of time you will have to install a wider grout to hid the imperfections.

TVS: Terracotta is very in – what are things to know about this?

Certified: Yes, terracotta is gaining a lot of traction in the market. When installing terracotta tile you need to make sure to wipe the back of the tile to clean off the dust from the factory and back butter the tile to bond.

TVS: What was your favorite tile project and why?

Certified: 1200 Promenade Central – all the design elements that encompass the space. Panels installed 50 feet high, water jet tile on the floor.

TVS: Most unusual place to use tile?

Certified: That is a tough question… ceiling.

TVS: U.S, vs. International – what is easier to specify and procure?

Certified: U.S. is overall easier to procure.

TVS: What is the biggest misconception on tile?

Certified: That it is easy to install.

Coverings has a best-in-class lineup of speakers and vendors this year. For more information and to register, head to the showcase website.