Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will this product get slippery when it gets wet or freezes?
A. A pedestrian can lose traction with any surface depending on many conditions, including weather and even the condition of the footwear of the person walking across. And, all surfaces must be maintained in severe weather to avoid build up of snow and ice. That being said, Down to Earth is unglazed and textured with a dynamic coefficient of friction that meets or exceeds 0.65 wet at time of manufacture. This means that with proper care and maintenance the product should perform extremely well in regard to slip/fall and is considered slip resisting.
Q. What are my options in sizes, colors and textures?
A. Down to Earth is available in four earth tone colors. Each color is available in three sizes. Each size has its own specific texture. So as you can see, there are a number of choices available to you - especially when you consider the variety of pattern options available in each size. Down to Earth tile for outdoors is also fired in such a way as to produce a random flashing-shade variation from tile to tile - which also adds to the warmth and appeal of the product.
Q. Is it durable?
A. Yes, Down to Earth is one of the most durable tile products you can buy. Because of the way it is manufactured - extruded not pressed - and hard fired, it is suitable for use indoors and outdoors with heavy traffic. Also, the tile is a full 1/2" thick for added strength. You can also be sure of the durability of Down to Earth for your outdoor tile installation because it is made by Metropolitan Ceramics, a company with a long history of manufacturing durable tile and brick products for outdoor use.
Q. How do I install it?
A. Down to Earth is a tile and as such should be installed using the tile set method of installation over a proper substrate. We highly recommend following the Tile Council of North America Handbook for proper outdoor tile installation details. We also recommend using a qualified tile contractor familiar with outdoor tile and tiling outdoors.
Q. Is it frost proof?
A. Down to Earth is an extruded tile. This means it can be fired hard to create a product with very low absorption. In fact, Down to Earth has absorption of less than 3% and qualifies as vitreous. What this means to the homeowner is that Down to Earth when used outdoors will absorb little moisture making it less susceptible to cracking during periods of freeze thaw. Metropolitan Ceramics has tested Down to Earth through 3,000 cycles of freeze/thaw without incident.
Please note that the low absorption of the tile is only one part of the equation in a successful outdoor tile project as it relates to freeze thaw. The product has to be installed correctly for the installation to succeed. Even the lowest absorption tile will crack if other parts of the outdoor tile installation are inadequate.
Q. Is it hard to keep clean?
A. Maintenance for Down to Earth tile is simply a matter of cleaning the tile with a neutral cleaner, such as Spic & Span, on a regular basis. You may find it helpful to use a deck brush or Scotch-Brite pad to remove stubborn dirt build up. One advantage to tiling outdoors is that once scrubbed, the installation can simply be hosed down to rinse. Regular cleaning in this fashion combined with frequent sweeping of the surface should be all you need do to maintain the floor.
Q. Should I seal it once it's installed?
A. Sealing the floor is not required; however, if the area is going to be subject to the elements and heavy traffic, it would probably be a good idea to seal the floor with a penetrating sealer. This will help protect the tile - and more importantly protect the grout - from staining agents and excessive dirt and grime. This will also help keep the grout in the texture. Please note that it is important to make sure the outdoor tile floor is clean before sealing to avoid sealing in any unwanted particles.