do i need to seal belgian reproduction tiles?
belgian reproduction tiles are highly porous and should be sealed as the final step of installation for all applications (dry and wet) to maintain their appearance and avoid staining. both the tile surface and grouted areas should be sealed.
please note that our 'light' and 'dark' look installation methods listed as options for "flemish black" tiles in our resource guide have different sealing requirements.
for the dark look, it is important to remember not to seal or use a grout release prior to grouting. follow by intentionally staining the surface of the tile by floating a dark grout (we recommend custom building products polyblend #60 charcoal sanded grout) all over and using a color enhancing sealer such as stonetech enhancer pro sealer to lock in the darker color.
for the light look, you must apply sealant or a grout release prior to grouting, then seal as the final step of installation.
If you are installing belgian reproduction on a busy kitchen backsplash where heavy staining is a concern, we recommend applying the clé top coat kit to the tile surface and grouted areas instead of using laticrete sealing products. the clé top coat kit can provide even more protection against stains on backsplashes. apply the top coat kit as the final step of installation. please note that this product is only a top coat and should only be applied as the final step of installation. please do not use this as a pre-grout treatment and be careful during the grouting process, using a grout bag and cleaning up as you go.
for exterior sealing, clé recommends stonetech heavy duty exterior sealer from laticrete.
for all other sealing and protecting, clé recommends stonetech bulletproof sealer from laticrete.
for more information about sealing please see our belgian reproduction material guidelines.
do you offer trim for your belgian reproduction tile?
at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.
- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- a visible tile edge can be honed/polished/sanded to make the side match the main surface of the tile.
- like with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.
for more detailed recommendations about about trim, please see our trim guide.
how do i take care of my belgian reproduction tiles?
over time, a natural patina will occur on floors as they are maintained and naturally wear.
mild, pH neutral soaps should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. for all other maintenance, clé recommends laticrete cleaning products.
see our belgian reproduction material guidelines for more information.
what type of finish should i expect with this collection?
belgian reproduction tiles are highly porous unglazed tiles with medium texture variation.
what types and levels of variation and imperfections should i expect?
we prize our belgian reproduction tiles for their variation and surface imperfections, which are a result of the hand mixed nature of their clay body, further enhanced during the firing process. there will be variations in thickness, size, texture, shade and color (including red clay inclusions in flemish black) across production lots or batches.
due to the natural materials and production process of belgian reproduction tiles, there will be degrees of variation in color, shade and size in your order, therefore it is important to blend the tiles from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing.
variation and imperfection ratings:
belgian reproduction tiles are rated 'level 5 extreme' for color variation, 'level 3 medium' for texture variation, 'level 4 extreme' for size variation, and 'level 2 prevalent' for chips and cracks.
see illustrations in the technical specifications section above, and read more about the ratings in our tile variation and imperfections guide.
how will my belgian reproduction tile samples compare to my actual order?
as noted in the variation and add on orders sections of our faq, color and size variation between production batches of belgian reproduction tiles, in addition to variation from tile to tile, is to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the product. this means that your sample may not be a perfect match with your actual order, and that your add-on order may not be a perfect match to either.
why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?
Industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential shipping breakage, or future repairs.
note that due to the raw materials and firing methods used to create belgian reproduction tiles, your order will have a percentage of tiles greater than 15% with cracks and chipping to their clay body.
if these imperfections do not fit your project’s needs we recommend ordering 20-30% overage. this allows your contractor to cherry-pick these imperfections from your order.
for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.