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Snohomish County, WA
Seattle, King County, WA

You can choose from the following building materials.

Floor Tile

Floor tile needs to be more than just attractive – it needs to be strong and durable as well.  After all, floors bear the weight of furniture and foot traffic, not to mention the sudden impact of everyone and everything that falls on them.  Floor tile is engineered to tolerate these stresses.

Most floor tile also is suitable for countertops.  And although it’s generally thicker and heavier than wall tile, many styles of floor tile can be used on walls.  The trim pieces necessary for counters and walls aren’t always available, though, which may limit your options.

Before you start shopping, consider where the tile will be used and what you want it to accomplish.  Will it be exposed to moisture?  Should it be a focal point or a subtle background?  Do you want it to establish the room’s color palette or blend into it?  The range of options is truly mind-boggling – establishing some guidelines before you go shopping will simplify the selection process enormously.

When shopping for tile, look for ratings by the American National Standards Institute or the Porcelain Enamel Institute.  If ratings aren’t available, check with your dealer to make sure the tile you’re considering is suitable for your project.

A Word on Ratings

Floor tile often comes labeled with water absorption and PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) ratings.  Absorption is a concern because tile that soaks up water is susceptible to mildew and mold and can be difficult to clean.  Ratings indicate how a tile can be used and whether or not it needs to be sealed against moisture.  Tile is rated non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous, or impervious, in increasing order of water resistance.  Non-vitreous tile is quite porous; semi-vitreous is used in dry-to-occasionally-wet locations; vitreous tile can be used without regard to its exposure to moisture.  Impervious tile generally is reserved for restaurants, hospitals, and commercial applications where sanitation is a special concern.

The PEI number is a wear rating that indicates how the tile should be used.  Ratings of 1 and 2 indicate tile is suitable for walls only; tile rated 3 and 4 is suitable for all residential applications – walls, counters and floors.  Most tile carries absorption and PEI ratings, but some – especially imported and art tiles – may not.  Ask the retailer if you’re not sure.

Depending on the retailer, tile may also have other ratings.  Some tile is graded 1 to 3 for quality of manufacturing.  Grade 1 indicates standard, grade 2 indicates minor glaze and size flaws, grade 3 indicates major flaws; use for decoration only.  Tile suitable for outdoor use is sometime rated with regard to its resistance to frost.  Finally, coefficient of friction numbers may be included with some tile.  The higher the coefficient, the more slip resistant the tile.  A dry coefficient of .6 is the minimum standard for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ceramic Tile

Glazed ceramic tile is made from clay pressed into a shape by machine and then fired in a kiln.  An amazing array of shapes, sizes and thicknesses is possible.  The critical part isn’t the tile itself but the glaze applied to the tile before firing.  The glaze, made up of a number of glass and metal elements, provides color and creates a hard, shiny surface.

Glaze is supposed to be smooth and hard, but for floors smooth and hard can also mean slick or slippery when wet.  Most glazed ceramic tile for floors is designed to avoid these problems.  The surface on some is textured or given a slightly raised design; on others the glaze itself includes materials added to create a non-skid surface.

Glazed tile generally absorbs very little or no water, making it both easy to maintain and mildew resistant.  If the glaze is hard and scratch resistant and the tile properly installed and maintained, a glaze ceramic tile floor will last for decades.

Glazed ceramic tiles intended for walls are thinner, softer versions of ceramic floor tiles.  Because walls see less wear and tear than floors, wall tile often has thinner, less abrasion-resistant glaze.  As a result, glazed wall tile is lighter, easier to cut and generally cheaper than floor tile.

As with glazed ceramic floor tiles, wall are available in dozens of shapes and sizes and in almost any color imaginable, as well as an impressive variety of textures and molded designs.  Matching border and trim pieces are generally available for glazed ceramic wall tile designs.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is produced by pressing refined white clay into shape and then firing it in a kiln at very high temperatures.  The resulting tile is extremely hard, absorbs very little or no water, and doesn’t stain or mildew.

Porcelain tile is manufactured in all shapes and sizes, and, because its base color is white, there is virtually no limit to the colors and finishes available.  Tile makers can also imprint textures when the tile is pressed, giving them slip-resistant surfaces well suited for wet locations.

Color is not added to porcelain tile with glaze (as it is with ceramic tile). Instead, dye is mixed into the clay and so goes all the way through the tile – a very good thing if you ever chip one.  The lack of glaze also means that tile makers can press finer, more intricate textures and patterns into the tile when it is manufactured.  Porcelain tile can even be pressed so that it’s nearly indistinguishable from cut stone, which tends to be more expensive but less durable.  For ease of maintenance, porcelain is hard to beat.  Its smooth finish and imperviousness to moisture keep soil and stains from setting in, making it easy to clean up.

Porcelain wall tile is thinner and lighter than porcelain floor tile, but is otherwise identical.  As with ceramic wall tile, porcelain comes in a large assortment of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns, including accompanying trim and border pieces.  Like porcelain floor tile, the colors in porcelain wall tile are tinted rather than glazed, so the colors generally run the full thickness of the tile, making scratches on the surface less noticeable.

Quarry Tile

The name “quarry tile” is somewhat misleading because modern quarry tile isn’t produced in a quarry.  Instead, these tiles are made from red clay extruded through a die that makes them resemble cut stone.  The die also creates a ribbed back on the tile to improve mortar adhesion.

The rough-hewn aspect of quarry tile makes it appealing and extremely slip resistant, but the open texture increases maintenance requirements.  Quarry tile is often much more absorbent then glazed or porcelain tile, making it more prone to stains and mildew.  Sealants must be added to increase this tile’s durability and serviceability.

Terra-cotta Tile

Terra-cotta evokes images of rustic patios in Mexico or perhaps sunny piazzas on the Mediterranean.  These images are quite appropriate because terra-cotta tile is very much a product of these regions.  The tile is traditionally made by pressing unrefined clay into molds of various shapes and baking it (terra-cotta literally means “baked earth”).  The color of the tile, from brown to red to yellow, is largely a result of the minerals unique to the local soil.

Machine-made terra-cotta tile is regular in shape and can be laid like standard tile, but traditional terra-cotta, especially handmade Mexican Saltillo tile, has irregularities and uneven shapes and thus requires more care during installation.  The variability and rustic character of the tile make up much of its appeal – and they make terra-cotta quite slip resistant.

Unglazed terra-cotta, which is porous and absorbent, should be treated with sealant before being used in wet locations.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaics are an ancient and intricate art form.  Using tiny colored clay tiles, artists have created incredible images and patterns on the floors, walls and ceilings of buildings from Greek temples to Byzantine cathedrals.  Today, the individual tiles are ceramic, porcelain, terra-cotta, stone or other tile cut into small pieces.  They are often mounted on a mesh backing so that large squares of many tiles can be installed at once.  These squares may be a solid color or contain a pattern or image.  Individual mosaic tiles are also available for making custom accents and mosaics.

The variety of patterns and designs available in prefabricated mosaic tile squares is extensive, and adding just a few squares to a floor or wall has a striking effect.

Mosaic tile can be very low maintenance or it can require periodic application of sealant, depending on what the individual tiles are made of.  All mosaic tile is generally quite slip resistant, no matter what material, because of the large number of grout lines.

Mosaic tile can be expensive, but a few square feet of mosaic among a whole wall of simple ceramic or porcelain tiles creates an exciting decoration at little expense.  You can also use shards of broken tile or even of china and porcelain dishes to create small mosaic accents on walls. The creative possibilities are endless.

Glass & Metal Tile

Tiles made of stainless steel, brass, iron and copper are an exciting alternative to clay-based tiles.  They are quite expensive per square foot, but adding just a few metal tiles to a wall of glazed or porcelain tiles can have a big effect.

We install metal tiles just like standard tiles, and they are available in shapes and thicknesses to work in most layouts.  They are available with smooth finishes, polished or unpolished and with embossed designs.  Some metals may weather and discolor with time and exposure to moisture.

Glass tile is another interesting option for walls (and, in some applications, floors).  Glass tile is available in a variety of colors and degrees of translucency, as well as shapes and sizes.

Because most glass tile is translucent to some degree, it’s important to use a white tile adhesive that won’t affect the appearance of the tiles once they are installed.  Glass is impervious to moisture, but it can be scratched and cracked, so it shouldn’t be installed where it will get hit by swinging doors and scratched by general traffic.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone tile has been a flooring material as long as there have been finished floors.  Marble, Granite, Slate, Travertine, Sandstone and Soapstone are cut very precisely into tiles of various sizes that can be installed just like manufactured tile.

Because stone is a natural material, variations in color, texture and markings are to be expected and are part of the charm of the material.  Manufacturers do offer stone tiles with some added finish, though.  In addition to polished, suppliers offer a variety of distressed and textured finishes that can be very attractive as well as slip resistant.

Unfinished rough stone is striking, but, with the exception of granite, absorbs water and stains easily if left unsealed.  Light colored stone tends to stain and show dirt, so ask for guidance on sealing the stone you’re considering.  Also, not all types of stone are uniformly abrasion resistant, so check before making a purchase.  Some stone is so soft that it can be very easily scratched by normal foot traffic.

Natural stone tile – cut from marble, granite, slate and other types of stone – has been thought of as flooring material, but its natural patterns and textures are also suitable for walls in some situations.  Tumbled stone tile has become extremely popular for walls all over the house.  Polished and rough-cut stone tile are often used on fireplace surrounds and in other dry locations.

The thinner tiles are most appropriate for walls because they’re easy to install.  Some natural stone trim pieces are available, but the selection is somewhat limited.  You may have to polish the edges of regular tile to create finished edges.

Slate Tile

Slate is a robust surface material for roofing, bathroom and kitchen flooring and walls.  It is a durable natural stone.  Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock derived from shale, clay and quartz.  Trace minerals include mica, chlorite, pyrite and feldspar.  Tremendous pressure and heat under ocean beds transform shale into slate.  This rugged origin gives it an instantly recognizable surface texture.  Some of the properties that make slate attractive are resistance to moisture, staining and slippage.

Slate’s colors include shades of gray, red, orange, black, green, mauve, yellow, amber, cyan and gold.  Slate has a high iron content that is more prevalent in the darker colors such as green, blown and black.  Over time, streaking will normally occur in the lighter shades such as pink and yellow.

Slate tiles are grouted along the edges. Sealants are applied to strengthen durability, improve resistance to stain and make them smoother in appearance.  Natural slate tiles can look rustic, contemporary or sleek depending on how the surface is prepared.  Patios, countertops and fireplaces are ideal places to maximize their beauty and their unique qualities.  Slate has a natural split surface (its cleavage and grain) that allows it to be broken into thin sheets.  Thus, it is recommended that slate be applied on a solid substrate or a bed of mortar.

Travertine Tile

Travertine is a sedimentary rock form by the accumulation and precipitation of calcite and carbonate minerals from springs, glaciers, oceans and rivers.  Heat and pressure compress the sediment deposits into layer beds or strata.  The succeeding layers build on the previous layers and the result is inconsistence in color and appearance.  The chemical formation also makes them quite porous and permeable.

The introduction of minerals during its formation gives travertine its many colors.  These minerals can give it anything from an ivory, cream, beige and walnut to gold color.  Red travertine tiles are due to iron compounds.  Cement or synthetic resins will cover any pores on travertine tiles.  They may also be left unfilled to have a distinguished, unpolished appearance.  Honed (matte) is the most common finish for travertine.  Others are polished, brushed and tumbled, or textured surface finish.

Travertine is used as façade material such as claddings on buildings, kitchen floor tiles, bathroom tiles, countertops, and paving for patios and garden paths.  Travertine reacts to acids such as vinegar and citrus juices so consideration must be given on their environment. Sealers must be applied to keep it protected.

Marble Tile

Marble is a centuries old natural stone for flooring, walls, and sculpture.  It is a metamorphic rock derived from limestone and composed of calcite.  Its formation under incredible pressure and heat recrystallizes the original sedimentary carbonate rocks into an amalgamation of calcite, aragonite and dolomite crystals.  This also increases its density, making it an incredibly hard rock.  A polished surface, crystal grains and colored veining will also be prominent.

Modern uses of polished marble tiles include fireplace hearths, windowsills, bathroom vanities, hallways, foyers, columns, courtyards, spas and fountains.  The dramatic veining of marble tiles contrast vividly with colors such as white, jade, gold, brown and dark green.

Tumbled marble is marble that has been blasted or tumbled with water.  The edges are sanded and slightly chipped.  This gives it a well-worn, non-glossy appearance.  Tumbled marble gives bathroom backsplashes and bathtub decks a sumptuously minimalist and cool ambience.  It is more expensive than polished marble because of the additional processing.

Granite Tiles

Granite is hard stone composed of bigger parts of minerals, feldspar, quartz and mica. Granite tiles are a 100% natural stone denser than marble.  Granite is molten lava that never rose above the surface of the earth.  It is extremely durable and holds a polish.  It’s available in polished, honed or flamed styles.

Natural Granite tiles can fit beautifully in all areas of the home.  Granite is available in many different shades and colors depending on what part of the world it has been mined.  Usually granite is frost resistant and can therefore be used both indoor and outdoor.  If granite tiles are used outdoor you may have to take traction into consideration.  Granite tiles are usually calibrated and beveled to insure accurate installation.

Sandstone Tiles

Sandstone, from which sandstone tiles are made is a sedimentary rock composed of small grains bonded by a binding material such as such as quartz, calcite, or iron oxide.  Sandstone is often formed in layers and has varied applications as building stones.  This coarse grained sedimentary rock is formed by consolidation and aggregation.

Sandstone has been used for thousands of years because of its reliability and its workability.  Sandstone tiles come in a range of colors and textures that has made them extremely popular in housing design.  Sandstone was one of the most prominent stones used by builders during Australian colonial times.

Sandstone tiles are gaining increased popularity for use in homes because of their range of textures, colors, and tones.  Sandstone tiles used for flooring in all levels of homes.  They are found in million dollar mansions, Federation houses, fibro-zone houses and even beach bungalows, where its durability has replaced linolium and hardwood floors.

Sandstone tiles work as all-purpose type of flooring, anywhere.  The design features are the big bonus to go with the basic fact that sandstone tiles is guaranteed to survive any home environment.  Sandstone tiles work well in the Australian climate, able to take the heat and the cold equally well.

The most basic sandstone tiles come in a mix of surface tones and textures.  Sandstone tiles, local and imported, come with a huge range of styles and textures.  You can live with sandstone tiles creating your own personal style.  Sandstone tiles allow you to work with color schemes, designs, and have as much fun as you like with your home colors.

Their quartz content of Sandstone tiles creates a delicate clear sheen that enhances their natural beauty.  Sandstone tiles are perfect for areas where you’d like muted, elegant stone on the floor or walls.  Tumbled sandstone tiles are ideal for conservatories, public lavatories, and other areas that would benefit from a gentle texture and muted brown tonal shade.
Sandstone tiles can be put almost anywhere that would have tiles, including fire surrounds, conservatory walls, and other areas that you’d like to use a natural stone in order to enhance the beauty of a room.

Sandstone tiles being non slip are ideal for floors in wet areas but because of their porosity should be sealed if used in bathrooms or kitchens.


Soapstone is known for its heavy-duty durability and non-porous qualities, soapstone tile flooring, with shades of light or dark gray with natural white marbling, will give any floor a beautiful distinctive look.

For cold climate areas another benefit of soapstone flooring is that it isn’t as cold underfoot as other ceramic or stone tiles. When combined with in-floor radiant heat it can warm a room very efficiently.

For outdoor kitchen or dining areas, soapstone tile flooring is a great choice. Whether you use it for your dining area, patio or pool side. One thing about soapstone is that it is not slippery when it gets wet! Also it is not porous so you don’t have to worry about stains or chemical reactions. With its natural darkening quality dirt and spills easily wipe away, leaving you with a beautiful result.

We are excited to raise money to go and give a family a home! The J. L. Remodeling crew is going to donate their time and money to go down to Honduras to give Joel and Ana and their two children a home! We are trying to raise the money to pay for the dwelling which is only $12,000!! In addition to that it will cost about $800 each to pay for food and lodging. We can do it!

Please help us in our mission!

 - click here

Thank you!

The J. L. Remodeling Crew

Jeff Laurence, Owner

Shane Lewis, Superintendent

Tony Serrata, Superintendent

Jonathan Burke, Lead Installer

Scott Joyce, Installer

Jeana Flynn, Office Manager, Executive Assistant
JL Remodeling, Inc. – Licensed Contractor, Custom Tile Work & Remodeling Contracts
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