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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a tiler during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up an appointment or consultation with a tiler during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by conducting an online search for tilers in your area. Ask if the tiler can conduct a consultation through a video call instead of a traditional site visit to limit exposure. It’s also wise to confer about the current state of the pandemic and ensure that it’s safe to complete the project now. If not, discuss postponing for another time. 

How can I find out if a tiler is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To identify essential service providers during the pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website to find a list of recommendations.

A list of national recommendations can be found at CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. This service lists 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that are approved to continue operation during the pandemic. But note not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Does a tiler need to enter my home?

If the tiling job is located in your house, the tiler will need access to your home. The exception to this would be if the job was taking place in an outdoor area like a backyard.

If a tiler does need to enter your home, take strong precautions. Sanitize all surfaces, avoid being in the same room and conduct payment using digital platforms. Discuss a safety strategy with tilers in your area beforehand.

Can I use digital payments to pay for tile installation, replacement or repairs?

Digital payment platforms are popular in a wide range of service industries, and many tile installment, replacement and repair professionals now accept them. Common platforms include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. 

Start with an online search for tile companies near you. Ask them if they accept digital payments and which types you can use. Then, put a strategy together to follow social distancing guidelines.

Do tilers offer remote or virtual services?

Because tiling is a manual, in-person job, it is not typically considered a remote project. But if you come across a profile that states the tile company is offering remote services, ask them what those services include.

How do professionals clean tile and grout?

If you need tile and grout cleaning and don’t have the time or mobility for scrubbing your entire house on your hands and knees, it’s time to turn to the pros. Tile and grout cleaning professionals have industrial-grade machines designed for the sole task of cleaning the porous materials of grout and tile.

Typically, a cleaning pro will come out to assess the job and provide you with a quote. Often they charge per square foot (for example, 75 cents per square foot), with higher prices or an hourly rate for areas that will need hand cleaning. The national average cost for tile and grout cleaning ranges from $190 to $250.

Once onsite, the pros thoroughly clean the area by wiping or sweeping down and then vacuuming up any dry dirt. Next a chemical tile cleaner is sprayed over the surface, causing dirt to loosen and adhere to the spray; the industry term for this is “suspension.” The pros then clean the floor with professional-strength machines, which often use a combination of steam, brushes and vacuum to loosen, agitate and lift entrenched dirt. Your floor is then rinsed, removing all the spray.

Usually a small room can be cleaned in under an hour. Applying a sealant afterward is recommend and will also affect cost.

Which is better: porcelain or ceramic tile?

Porcelain tiles are more durable and have a longer lifespan than ceramic tile. If you're installing flooring in an area with high traffic or lots of heavy furniture, porcelain tiles will look better for longer. They’re also very easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain is also very water-resistant and can hold up in places like bathrooms and rooms with jacuzzis, hot tubs, or swimming pools. 

But if the cost is your top priority, ceramic tiles are often more affordable. Ceramic tile prices start as low as $0.45 or $0.50 per square foot, and porcelain tile starts at $3 per square foot.

Does tile flooring increase home value?

Having a tile floor may increase your home’s value, but it might depend on the type of tile you install and the trends in the real estate market.

Chat with your realtor or a real estate expert to figure out what types of home repairs and remodeling projects you should tackle before you put your home on the market. It might make sense to add new tiles when renovating your kitchen or bathroom, for example. 

If you decide to include new tiling in your home remodeling project, contact the best tile installation pros near you to get free estimates.

How can I get my grout clean?

Dirt, mildew and grime can make your grout lines look downright tragic. If you have the ability, DIY tile and grout cleaning is definitely doable. Your main obstacles are time, project size, availability of the right materials and effort. Your first step in tile and grout cleaning is making sure the surface area is cleaned of basic dirt and buildup and wiped down. Be sure not to use a bleach-based cleaning agent, which could react dangerously with the vinegar used in later steps.

Depending on the delicacy of your tile and grout, it may be wise to start with water and friction before proceeding to a cleaning solution. In the shower you can spray the area while brushing gently, or use a spray bottle filled with warm water on countertops or floors. If water won’t do the trick, try a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar, and repeat the gentle brushing motion. This combination should begin to lift dirt and grime from the grout. For additional tile and grout cleaning power, baking soda applied directly to grout lines and sprayed with your water vinegar solution can help suds off sticky grime. If your DIY cleaning solutions aren’t doing the trick, store-bought sprays and pastes may have more cleansing power. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and enjoy your sparkling clean grout.

Tile and grout cleaning supplies include:

  • Old standard or electric toothbrush
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Commercial grout cleaner
Reviews for Ashburn tiling professionals
Pardeep C.
Marcus was great and he cleaned my dirty looking tiles to fresh looking tiles.
The Grime BossThe Grime Boss
Russ C.
Excellent in every way. Timely, efficient with a focus on detail at a good price. Terence installed a glass subway tile backsplash in our remodeled kitchen. The tile was set on day one and the grouting on day two. I would/will hire him again. Very punctual too.
Terence TibbsTerence Tibbs
Thumbtack Customer
Yong and his crew were amazing. We replaced the cheap wood with large tile on the entire first level. The job included pulling up the wood which was glued down and installing the tile which had previously purchased. Yong responded to my request for an estimate on the same day came by to look at the job and provided an estimate well below others. The job actually became a lot more involved than expected but he kept to his original estimate and did a great job. We'd definitely use him again and recommend him for any of tile and backsplash needs!
Oak's Floor Inc.Oak's Floor Inc.
Nicholas W.
Roger did a great job doing a backslash with glass tile for my kitchen. Made sure to protect the floors and counters and everything was super clean when he was done.
JRT general remodeling llc.JRT general remodeling llc.
Helen F.
Leonardo did the tile installation in my laundry room and he is very professional, expedient and worked hard to make the project work for me. I would highly recommend LD Home improvement
LD HOME  improvement LLCLD HOME improvement LLC
Puneet G.
Will not recommend. Not followed the timelines as per scheduled. Did not finish the job completely. After putting grout on the tiles, did not clean the tiles properly. When i did cleaning i found grout was missing at many places. First i gave him left over grout and mortar. but when i found grout is missing in some places, i called him to get the grout back, this guy did not took responsibility to come back and finish the job. on the other side gave me hard time to get the grout back. Please stay away.
Terence TibbsTerence Tibbs
John s.
Terence installed my kitchen backsplash. I had a lot of light switches and outlets on the wall, so it required a lot of delicate cuts. He did a quality job and cleaned up afterwards. I would use him again for tile work.
Terence TibbsTerence Tibbs
Thumbtack Customer
Patrick did an amazing job installing glass subway tile in our kitchen. We could not be more pleased with the outcome. Our kitchen feels complete and ready to be cooked in! He was kind, professional and courteous throughout the process. I would highly recommend his service to anyone!
Deborah E.
We LOVE the work that K&M did for us!! They tore out and then reinstalled a new kitchen backsplash and remodeled our Powder Room which included tearing out and reinstalling a new tile floor, installing beadboard, and installing a new vanity and mirror which we had purchased. Both rooms look incredible!! We could not be happier and highly recommend them.
Chi I.
It was a pleasure working with Roger. We hired him to recalk our shower tile corners and he did an awesome job! He provided valuable suggestions and feedback to ensure we clearly understood his services. Roger was patient and flexible with us when we requested recalking touch ups around our kitchen faucet, not originally part of his scope. If you’re looking for a straightforward and professional contractor who knows their recalk job well, you won’t regret hiring this Roger.
R & L UpkeepR & L Upkeep
Shawn G.
Patrick did a great job with my kitchen backsplash and adjacent brick wall (pics attached and those are real thin bricks) that I planned. His attention to details, passion and skill for what he does as well as friendly attitude make it fun to work with him. The project turned out to be exactly as I expected, if not better! I already recommended Patrick to another friend. I'm also going to hire him again in the next few weeks (after I'm done with my selections) for the wooden panel/tile work I have planned for a living room wall.
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