How to Install Split Face Tile

The rugged, natural look of split face tile is beautiful in so many applications that it is easy to find places for it all over your home. Interior or exterior, the unique, textured effect of split face stone and tile provides a rustic, classic look, while proper and precise installation provides clean lines and cohesive arrangement that betray a modern sensibility and a contemporary eye toward quality. It is easier than you think to install your own split face tile and skirt the cost of hiring a professional. Achieve your tiling ambitions with a little planning and a few simple steps.

What Is Split Face Tile?

Instead of the smoothness and high polish of most glass or ceramic tiles, imagine the variation and texture of natural stone. Manufacturers commonly make split face tile from stratified rock or stone by cutting it or cracking, such that the split face exposes the bedding. The result is the visually attractive effect of rough-hewn stone. Typically people cut the stone with the bedding set on a horizontal bias, but vertically set bedding cuts are available as well.

Many people usually use split face tile for external applications, such as for raised flower beds, outdoor fireplaces, and even water features. The raw aesthetic of the split face lends itself to outdoor style, but there are many places where it makes a stunning impression indoors, as well. Use split face tile as backsplash tile in a rustic or country kitchen, or install it as an accent wall in a bathroom or den.

VIDEO: Split Faced Stone Tile and Rosewood Installation

Preparing to Install Split Face Tile

Begin by preparing the wall or surface for tiling, which includes removing any hardware, such as light switches and other fixtures, and removing all of the current surface base. If your project is larger scale, remember to mount tiling board across the entire surface before you begin. Do not adhere tiles directly to drywall.

Use a tape measure and level to measure and mark to the middle lines of the area you intend to tile. Find both the horizontal and the vertical middle, because you need to divide the space evenly and exactly into sections so when you lay the tile it is perfectly straight. Use a chalk snap line to mark perfectly straight lines. Dry fit the tiles so you know you are getting the final look you want. Use a wet saw to cut and shape any tiles to size for edges or corners. To ensure your tiles stay straight, install a batten.

Installing Split Face Tile

Stir the mortar according to package directions and allow it to slake, which means letting it sit for 15 minutes, then stir again before applying. Apply the mortar to the tiling surface with a tiling trowel, working in areas of about 2 by 3 feet. Use the long, notched side of the trowel to apply and scrape the mortar into place, leaving roughly parallel lines from the notches. Place the tiles carefully, twisting them gently to really set in the mortar. Place tile spacers as you go to keep the corners and edges aligned the way you want them.

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How To Mop Tile Floors

The condition of your floors can make or break the overall appearance of your home. Making those tile floors shine isn’t as easy as just pushing around a mop, though.

Choose Your Mop

A mop is not just a mop. In fact, the one you choose has a lot to do with how clean your floors will turn out. Your mop needs to be tough enough to remove both wet and dry stains but gentle enough to leave your floor without scratches.

Look for a mop with a removable, washable head, or one that can be replaced. Mopping your floor with a dirty mop doesn’t do much but move the dirt around.

The cleaning solution is specially formulated to break up and dissolve tough messes. Plus, the dual-nozzle sprayer is built right in to the pole, so there’s no bucket and no bending, and the disposable Extra Power pads work just as hard as your mop, but guarantee you’re always cleaning your floor with a clean tool.

Related Article: How to Mop Ceramic Tile

The Cleaning Solution

The type of cleaning solution you should use depends largely on the type of tile you have in your home.

Vinyl — Vinyl tile is pretty durable and can usually be cleaned with a simple vinegar and water mixture. Add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water and you’re ready to go. For tough stains, try mixing Borax with water.

Ceramic — Ceramic tile doesn’t usually need much more than a damp mop to come clean, but for tough jobs, try a vinegar-and-water mixture. Use a towel to dry the floor after you mop, as air drying will take away some of the shine.

Stone — Vinegar might be a miracle cleaner, but keep it away from your stone-tile floors. The acids in vinegar can eventually do a lot of damage to the tile. Instead, mix a couple drops of dish washing liquid into a gallon of hot water, mop and then rinse.

VIDEO: How to Mop a Floor

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Ceramic Tile Repair, Installation and Maintenance

How do I replace a broken ceramic floor tile? Is it the same procedure to replace a broken wall tile?

Replacing a broken tile can be very easy or very hard, as with most things in real life! The type of adhesive and the substrate, the material the tile is attached to, and determine the difficulty of removal.

In modern homes, wall tiles are generally set in adhesive, while floor tiles are set in either adhesive, thinset, or mortar. Mortar, or mud, is still commonly used for bathroom and shower enclosure tile floors. Thinset is like mortar in that it is a cement-based product. It differs from true mortar in that it may be applied directly over plywood or tileboard without the need for the metal-mesh reinforcement necessary for mortar.


1. Remove the grout from around the tile(s) you want to replace.

The grout bonds and seals the area between the tiles, protecting the floor underneath from the moisture which can eventually loosen the tiles and damage the substrate. If you try to remove the tile without removing all of the grout first, there is a chance that the adjacent tiles will chip.

If the grout is a soft, unsanded wall grout, you can scratch it out with a utility knife, being careful not to slip and scratch adjacent tiles (oddly enough, you will find that as the blade dulls, it does a better job).

If you are dealing with a sanded floor grout, which tends to be tougher than wall grout, you may have to use a small cold chisel to get the grout out, especially if the grout line is very wide (over 1/4″). However, once you break the surface of the grout, you may be able to go back to the utility knife with the dull blade. There is a tool called a grout saw that is intended to remove grout. However, it is useless unless the grout line is wide.

2. Remove the broken tile.

If the broken tile is loose, simply lift it out and go on the next step. For floor tiles, rap on the edge of the tile, using a hammer and a small cold chisel or other suitable tool (in other words, whatever you have handy, such as a screwdriver). Do not touch any of the adjacent tile, because you may loosen or chip them. A few carefully place whacks may loosen a tile set in mortar or Thinset.

If the tile is set in adhesive, as are most wall tiles, or well adhered to the mortar, every piece of the tile is going to fight you during the removal process. You will probably do some damage to the floor or wall underneath the tile during removal, but it is of little consequence once you install the new tile.

You can use a cold chisel to break a tile into pieces, but you must be very careful to not damage adjacent tiles. I usually use a carbide drill bit, 1/4″ to 1/2″ diameter, and drill a series of holes in the tile, making it easier to break apart. Once you have a hole in the tile, you can use a chisel or screwdriver to pry/break the rest of the tile out.

3. Prepare the hole and set the replacement tile.

Vacuum out all debrus, and scrape out any lumps or bumps in the mortar or adhesive. Test fit the new tile to make sure it 1) sits firmly without excessive rocking, and 2) doesn’t sit higher than the other tiles. Scrape out more remaining adhesive/mortar if necessary.

Apply a 1/8″ layer of adhesive to the back of the tile with a putty knife. It is not necessary to use a special grooved tile adhesive applicator for a small repair such as this.

Do not apply the adhesive closer than a half-inch to the edge of the tile. You don’t want the stuff to squeeze out into the area between the tiles when you place it. Just more of a mess to clean up later!

Press the tile into its place with a slight wiggling motion, which will spread the adhesive and assure a good bond.

4. Let the adhesive dry for 24 hours and apply matching grout.

If any more than a slight amount of adhesive squeezed out between the tiles in the last step, use a utility knife or a thin screwdriver and scrape as much of it out as you can.

Mix the grout per instructions on the label. I always mix no less than 2 cups of grout, regardless how little grout I actually need. By doing so, you are more likely to get the proper mix of chemicals and pigment.

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The Production Process of Tiles

Ceramic Tile

Wall and floor tile used for interior and exterior decoration belongs to a class of ceramics known as whitewares. The production of tile dates back to ancient times and peoples, including the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians. For instance, the Step Pyramid for the Pharoah Djoser, built in ancient Egypt around 2600 B.C., contained colorful glazed tile. Later, ceramic tile was manufactured in virtually every major European country and in the United States. By the beginning of the twentieth century, tile was manufactured on an industrial scale. The invention of the tunnel kiln around 1910 increased the automation of tile manufacture. Today, tile manufacture is highly automated.

The American National Standards Institute separates tiles into several classifications. Ceramic mosaic tile may be either porcelain or of natural clay composition of size less than 39 cm2 (6 in.2). Decorative wall tile is glazed tile with a thin body used for interior decoration of residential walls. Paver tile is glazed or unglazed porcelain or natural clay tile of size 39 cm2 (6 in.2) or more. Porcelain tile is ceramic mosaic tile or paver tile that is made by a certain method called dry pressing. Quarry tile is glazed or unglazed tile of the same size as paver tile, but made by a different forming method. Read more:

How are Porcelain And Ceramic Tiles Made?

The way that ceramic tile and porcelain tile is made can vary based on the type of tile and what it is being used for, but there are common design and material elements across all types.

Simply explained, ceramic tile is tile made of clay that is shaped and then it is fired in a very hot kiln. In earlier times, the production process was that unglazed tile was fired once while glazed tile was fired twice. While technologies have improved production, the process is very much the same now as it was a long time ago.

Three steps, one very dense tile

Step 1: In order to make a tile, it’s necessary to start with some clay. Nowadays, however, it’s more likely that that clay will be produced rather than sourced from a riverbed as it was in the past. To make clay, producers will choose a form of dust made out of pulverized rock, slate, or marble, or sometimes other materials like post-industrial and post consumer glass, for instance. Read more:

The Production Process of Ceramic Tiles

Production Ceramic Tiles

Concrete Roof Tiles Manufacturing Process

Throughout the manufacturing process, Boral Roofing adheres to best practices pertaining to production and environmental responsibility.

Products are made locally to service regional customers – reducing transportation costs and emissions.

1. Processed water is recycled for reuse in the manufacturing process.

2. Reduce the use of cement consumption by using post-industrial materials such as blast furnace slag and fly ash, preventing potentially harmful pollutants from reaching local ecosystems.

3. Tile may be crushed and reintroduced into the manufacturing process as well as for use in construction projects.

4. Concrete tiles produce less than half of the carbon emissions of clay tiles and metal sheets


Tips In Cleaning Tiles

Finding really good information on the topic of Tiles is quite a challenge, but I liked the following articles:


Tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as clay, ceramic, stone, metal or even glass. It is a surfacing unit, used for covering roofs, floors, walls and countertops. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are manufactured by pressing clay and other materials into shape and firing it at high temperatures, giving it the hardness it is known for. The bisque (body) of a tile may then be glazed, or left unglazed depending on its intended use. Tile is a popular flooring choice for many reasons. Wide varieties of tile offers colors, patterns, and textures that enhance any interior or exterior. Tile for flooring and wall covering is also one of the earliest manmade building materials and endures all kinds of wear while retaining their beauty.

Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tile is a beautiful, tough and enduring floor and wall covering material. Apart from its very presentable look, it is resistant to almost all of the common sources of wear endured by quality flooring.

Check more images of ceramic tiles here:

Is Tile That Looks Like Wood Flooring Really That Great?

Of course some of the advantages that are touted with regards to wood looking ceramic tiles are debatable, namely that it is better for underfloor readiant heating, easier to find in larger plank widths, generally cheaper and easier to clean. Yes, ceramic tiles can be used with underfloor radiant heating, but so can certain types of wood flooring. And whilst it’s true that wood look tile planks come in a greatly affordable range sizes and widths, the increase popularity for the wide wood floorboards means that there are more budget ranges available in the larger widths.

How to Green Clean Ceramic Tile

Cleaning ceramic tile floors are a snap. You may think it is as easy as adding soap and water to a bucket and mopping, but stop right there, that is the last thing that you want to do for your floors. You want to avoid using acidic cleaners, strong detergents, bleach and ammonia as these things can dull or fade your tile. Avoid scouring powders as well, as they will scratch the surface. First and foremost, the best thing you can do for your entire house is have a policy of no shoes in the house. Removing your shoes when entering the house is not only good for keeping your floor clean and dirt free, but allergens are also tracked in on your shoes as well. You will find that by removing your shoes at the door the environmental contaminants stay outside and you will have a lot fewer problems with allergies. If you have wood floors the dirt and stones that come in on shoes can do terrible damage to your floors.

Lastly here, we can insert a paragraph here. Something like: therefore, tiles are…