Frequently Asked Questions

HOW WE WORK

Do you stock tile?

No, we are a showroom. We don’t stock any tile- we order everything in specially for your project. 

Will you come install my tile?

We no longer have installers on staff. Please contact our showroom for a list of recommended installers. Keep in mind most tile setters will not do grout cleaning, repair jobs, or finish jobs that another installer has started. 

Will you accept returns of my extra tile?

Seattle Tile Company does not accept tile returns, since everything is ordered in specifically for you. All sales are final. 

What is the standard lead time for my tile order?

Depending on your tile selection, tile availability varies. Many products will be available for pick up after one or two business days, while others will transfer in from out of the area within 2-3 weeks depending on stock and stock location. Handmade and special order products can take 6-12 weeks to be made and shipped. 

Will you help me calculate my quantities?

We are happy to help calculate quantities for your installation during a paid design appointment. We ask that you provide your measurements and a sketch, floor plan, or elevation so we can make sure we get all the components you need. Read more and schedule your design appointment on the appointments page.

Do I need a design appointment to come look through the showroom?

No- You are welcome to visit the showroom at your convenience during business hours. We are happy to direct you to the type of tile you’re looking for, and even assist you with sample checkout. Once you've got an idea of what you would like we can schedule a paid design appointment, and give you one-on-one assistance. This is ideal if you want further help in determining what components to put together, what trim pieces to use in your tile application, conceptual sketches, or figuring quantities. Read more about the services we offer and schedule a design appointment on the appointments page.

We're looking to replace tile we purchased from Seattle Tile years ago. Can you find the same one?

We can look through our order system to find your previous purchase (back to about 2007) if you know the name it was purchased under. That being said, not all tiles will still be available. Tile is a fashion industry, and with changing fashions manufacturers frequently discontinue product. In the case that we cannot provide the same tile again, we can try looking at alternative or similar options.

Do you sell cement tiles?

We do not cell cement tiles. Despite their beauty, they are soft, extremely porous, and difficult to both install and maintain. Many similar beautiful patterns are available in our showroom on porcelain and ceramic bodies for more durable and user-friendly results.

TILE, GROUT, AND CARE QUESTIONS

What type of grout should I use?

Grout selection is determined by the type of tile, the type of project, budget, and your installer's preferences. There are many types of grout currently on the market. We are most comfortable recommending:

  1. Standard Portland cement grout in sanded for 1/8" or larger grout spaces, or non-sanded for 1/8" or smaller grout spaces. Newer “hybrid” versions of cement grout contain glass or Kevlar that fit in all sizes of grout line (like Laticrete Permacolor). Cement grouts are porous, and sensitive to stains and chemicals. We suggest sealing them annually and cleaning them with PH-neutral cleaners.
  2. Trucolor urethane grout is a pre-mixed product good for 1/8" grout lines or larger. Urethane is mildew and stain resistant, and requires no sealing. You can use most cleaners on it, but avoid acids and natural cleaners (like Meyers or Method) that contain oils or enzymes, as they will break down the grout over time. It has a 7 day full-cure time, but can be exposed to intermittent water after 3 days. It cannot be used for re-grouting a project. Special care is needed for fresh mud pans and newly laid cement floors. Urethane is not recommended for steam showers. We do not recommend urethane grout for natural stone installations.
  3. Laticrete epoxy grout is good for 1/8" grout lines or larger. Epoxy is mildew and stain resistant, and requires no sealing. Open time is very short once the components are mixed requiring the tile setter to work quickly. You can use most cleaners on it; avoid acids and natural cleaners, as with Urethane. It cannot be used for re-grouting a project. Some installers are allergic to epoxy components. This product is UV sensitive, and not suitable for outdoor use. We do not recommend epoxy grout for natural stone installations.

What types of sealers are available?

We stock both water-based and petroleum-based sealers. Water based VanHearron Stainguard 5000 and petroleum based Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator are generally on our shelves. The details of your installation and the preferences of your tile setter can play a role in what will be used.  Water-based sealants are recommended over tiles with high-performance grouts, such as urethane and epoxy, as petroleum based sealers have potential to down these types of grouts. Water-based sealants are low VOC, making them good for areas with less ventilation, or where there are pets or children present.  Petroleum based sealants are recommended if you have an older installation and don’t know if what type of sealant was previously used, as the water-based sealant will not adhere to a petroleum sealant. 

Can I install tile over old tile?

While there are products that are marketed to allow you to install over old tile or other flooring, it is not something we recommend. There are many ways that such an installation could fail.

How do I care for natural stone?

We recommend cleaning natural stone with a PH-neutral cleaner like simple soap and water, or a cleaner made for natural stone. Natural stone is porous, as it is quarried from the earth. To varying degrees, stone can etch or stain easily when cleaned with the wrong product, or sealer isn’t maintained. Harsh cleaners could also break down the sealant that you have used to protect the tile.


We recommend sealing your natural stone annually, depending on the type and use of the stone. You may choose to seal your project more often if it is a heavily used space or a particularly porous stone.

How do I replace/clean/change the color of the grout in my existing installation?

Please see info about different types of grout for care instructions above.

Most tile setters will not take on repair work or grout replacement jobs due to liability.


Removing grout can be a tedious project. If your tile is still in good shape, but the grout is in need of replacement, you may be able to grind out existing cement grouts using a small router tool, a razor blade, or dental tools. An epoxy or urethane grout can generally be removed using a heat gun to soften the grout joints. You’ll need to be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles in the process. The old grout will need to be cleaned out as well as possible, and the space needs to be dry before installing new grout.


If your grout is in good repair, but you’d like to change the color, there are paint-on products on the market that act as a grout paint and sealer in one. We can special order such products in a wide range of colors.

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