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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

 

Common Installation Questions and Tips

 

 

Can I find your products locally?

We design and manufacture our own brands and offer them at our online tile showroom here at Modwalls.com. We ship Worldwide from Aptos, CA near Santa Cruz. In addition to ordering online, you may speak to our customer service team either by phone 877-439-9734, email service@modwalls.com or online chat. We have expert product advisors who specialize in working with Interior Designers, Architects and Builders as well as Homeowners. You may order samples of any product and we will rush them to you via USPS Priority Mail. Back to Top

 

How can I check the availability of your products?

The quantity in stock is listed on each product page and is updated automatically as orders are placed. Some Modwalls tile designs or colors are Made-to-Order or Pre-Order and the time for production is listed on the tile product page. You may order Made-to-Order and Pre-Order tiles online and we will keep you updated on the production timing.

We ship orders of in stock tile within 2 business days. If you have placed a custom order then you have a specific lead time and should discuss your specific timing with our customer service representative at 877-439-9734 or by emailing us at service@modwalls.com.  Once your order has shipped, you will receive an email with tracking information when the tile ships from our warehouse in Aptos, CA.  

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Can I order samples?

Yes. We recommend getting samples of your tile choices before purchasing the entire quantity you need for your projects. Samples are free to registered trade accounts and they are a nominal fee for retail customers.If you would like to apply for a Modwalls Trade Discount, please submit complete the form here: https://www.modwalls.com/trade-accounts/

 

Shipping is free for sample orders.  Each tile on our site has a sample next to it  which you may place in your shopping cart. You can also view all samples on our sample page. In some cases, the tile you want may be custom and not a stocked item. In this case, if we have an actual sample of the shape in color of tile you want, we will send that. Othewise we may send the shape in another color and send a color chip of the color you want. We do everything possible to make sure you know how the tile will look in person.

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 How big are the samples?

The average size is about 4”x4”, or we’ll send you one tile if you want to see samples of our 3”x6” or 4”x12” subway tiles.  If you choose to see a sample of a tile blend, we’ll make sure to include at least one tile of every color in the blend. We also have color chip samples which are 2"x2" or 1.5"x3" for tile designs that aren't in stock, although we try to send you an example of 1 tile even if not in your color choice if we have it, along with color chip samples. Shipping is free for all samples. Project tile samples to registered trade customers are free.

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How long will it take to receive my order of samples?

Sample orders ship via USPS Priority Mail and usually arrive anywhere in the US in 2-3 business days from date shipped. Sample and product orders are shipped within two business days of purchase.

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How long will it take for me to receive my tile?

Product Orders are shipped within two business days and are usually shipped via UPS or freight service (where samples are sent via USPS). Actual UPS or freight transit time will vary depending on the delivery address. For example, we are based in California and shipping to the East Coast will take 5-7 business days.  Take a look at our “Shipping” page for more details and to see a map of UPS transit times.  Please note, if you want to expedite shipping you must get your order in by noon Pacific Time in order to get the order out that day.  Please call 877-439-9734 if you need help getting your order expedited or if you have special timing needs.  

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Will the colorant on the back of Lush® tiles come off in a wet installation like a pool?

No. Our Lush® glass subway tiles have their colorant kiln-fired onto the back of the tiles, making it impossible to fade away over time no matter what type of installation; indoor, outdoor, wet or dry. As long as Lush® glass tiles are installed with thin-set adhesive, a seal is created and there is no penetrating it. 

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Please explain how your products are packaged to avoid breakage during shipping.

Our shipping department packs meticulously and the customer reviews on our site attest to this fact. If the order is shipping via UPS Ground we put the box inside a box with specially design recyclable end caps, along with either recycled cardboard packing material or compostable green packing peanuts all around.

If the product ships via freight carrier, we construct a pallet and strap the boxes of tile to the pallet and then shrink wrap the entire pallet. Because of these professional techniques, we are fortunate to not have breakage be an issue, but it does happen from time to time. We ask that you thoroughly check your entire order upon arrival. If anything arrives damaged, please note it right away and call us 877-439-9734. We will replace any tile broken during shipment.

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Do you have installation guides for your tile?

Yes, here is a link to our Installation Guides page where you can find a specific installation guide for each of our product lines: https://www.modwalls.com/tile-installation-guides/ 

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What is the best way to finish the edge of your tiles? Do you carry bullnose tile?

A1. Our glass tiles (Lush® & Brio®), both have finished edges and do not require edge pieces. Tile can be installed with the edges grouted and this can easily be done with a strip of 2" blue tape laid down about 1 grout space from the edge of the tile. When the tile is grouted, the edge of the tile can be finished with grout that is beveled at 45 degrees from the face of the tile to the edge of the blue tape on the wall. Once the grout is dry the blue tape can be removed and you will have a nice straight grout edge.  

*Tip: If your tile has been cut, turn the cut side inward (facing other tiles) and make the tile’s perfectly finished edge the end of the installation.

A2. The other way to finish the edges is to find/buy a ceramic bullnose (Angle or “L” shaped), or use our Clayhaus for modwalls® ceramic trim pieces, and install it next to the exposed edge so that it leaves a gap
between the edge of the tile and the edge of the bull nose which is the same width as the grout joints. Then grout the space and clean the grout from the outer exposed strip edge.

*You might find our Edging Options photo gallery helpful. 

 

Can I use your tiles for an outdoor installation like a pool or hot tub?

Yes, all of our options are suitable for outdoor installations with the exception of modwalls® Cork Dotz™, our Clayhaus for modwalls® ceramic tiles and our Kiln ceramic tiles.

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Which tiles are best suited for floors?

All of our Basis ceramic floor and wall tiles, Brio® tiles, Porcelain ModDotz™and Cork Dotz™ tile can be used on floors. Lush® glass tiles are not recommended for floor installations as they are too slick and are not rated for floors.

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Are all of your tiles safe on a backsplash behind stove? My Viking generates a lot of heat.

Yes, all of modwalls®’ tiles are safe to install on backsplashes behind stoves. Stoves are designed for installation in kitchens with just drywall behind them so they won’t generate enough heat to damage the wall,
with or without tile.

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Can I tile over existing tile? Can I tile directly on a wood surface?

We recommend that you hire an experienced professional tile installer for your project.

You cannot tile over tile and you also cannot tile directly onto a wood surface.

Preparing the existing surface is the most critical task of any tile installation. The tile must be placed on a rigid, level, plumb and structurally sound surface to avoid problems. The surface should be clean, dry
and free of contaminants that could prevent a good bond. The recommended substrate is a cement backer board such as HardieBacker. Gypsum board may also be acceptable for interior dry installations only.


Please see our Installation Guides page for more details.

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All of your glass tiles require the use of modified latex thin-set adhesive. Can you give examples of some specific names of brands you recommend?

We recommend hiring a tile installer who is experienced with installing the type of tile you have purchased.  In particular, glass tile cannot be installed in the same manner as you would install ceramic tile. An experienced tile installer should know that the glass tile requires a modified thin-set be used for successful bond.  An experienced tile installer should beable to recommend the best brand of thinset for the job.

Modified latex thinsets are not limited to but include these brands:

  1. Custom Building Products: Premium Plus Thin-Set Mortar (white) mixed with Custom Flex Ultra-Strength Thin-Set Additive
  2. Custom Building Products: MegaFlex Ultimate Thin-Set Mortar (white). No admixture is necessary.
  3. Hydroment: ReFlex Ultra-Premium Latex-Modified Thin Set Mortar. No admixture necessary.
  4. KeraKoll: H40 Tenax Single Component Thin-Set (white) No admixture necessary.
  5. Laticrete: 254 Platinum Multipurpose Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture necessary.
  6. MAPEI: Kerabond Premium Dry-Set Mortar (KER 102) mixed with Keralastic Mortar Admix (KER 310)
  7. TEC (H.B. Fuller): Super Flex Premium Performance Universal Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture is necessary.

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What’s the best grout to use for each of your product lines?

Brio® glass mosaic tile: Sanded and non-sanded grout are both suitable; Sanded grout is recommended for floor, outdoor, commercial and wet applications.
Lush® glass tile: Sanded and non-sanded grout are both suitable; Sanded grout is recommended for floor, outdoor, commercial and wet applications.
Kiln Basis and Clayhaus for modwalls® ceramic tile: Sanded grout or a urethane grout are both suitable.
Cork Dotz™ tile: Sanded grout only
Porcelain ModDotz™: Sanded and non-sanded grout are both suitable; Sanded grout is recommended for floor, outdoor, commercial and wet applications.
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Will sanded grout scratch glass tiles?

No, sanded grout will not scratch any of our glass tiles and you could use a sanded grout with any of our tiles. 

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Do I need to use a sealer on my tile or grout?

Our tiles do not ever need sealing, but you may want to use a sealer on your grout; we highly recommend it. Grout is very porous and is prone to staining if not sealed. Sealing helps to prevent stains and dirt from
penetrating into the grout and makes it easier to clean. A sealer also helps to prevent mold and mildew growth. Sealer should be used after the grout is cured, approximately 48 - 72 hours after grouting but please see manufacturer instructions for specific time frame.

 

How can cut glass tile or drill a hole in glass tile?

Cutting Lush® Glass Tile: We Do Not Recommend Drilling Holes in our Glass Tile Designs

  • The recommended cutting method is by wet saw with a new diamond blade designed specifically for cutting glass. For tile size of 3”x6” or larger the glass score and snap method is also effective.
  • Make cuts onto the back side of the tiles (the mesh-backed side).
  • Edges which have been cut should be smoothed with diamond hand pad or other similar smoothing tools.

Cutting modwalls® Brio® glass mosaic tile:

  • modwalls® Brio® glass tile can be cut using tile nippers 
 
 

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How should I clean my glass tile?

Glass tiles are easy to clean by wiping with a damp cloth as you would any wall or ceiling. To remove stubborn stains use a commercial nonabrasive cleaner like window cleaner or a solution of soap less detergent. The surface should be scrubbed, rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried.

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