Tile’s Dirty Little Secrets – Dye Lots, Grout Lines, and Application!

What is tile’s dirty little secret?

Well, there are many! Tile is amazingly fun AND complicated. It’s important to know what you need BEFORE you start a project.


Just like fabric, engineered tile has dye lots. All tiles shipped from the manufacturer tagged your project name should be from the same exact dye lot. If they are not, they will not match. As a matter of fact, save your sample and make sure that when your tile comes you check it against the sample or at least approve the actual tile that is going to be installed prior to cutting the tile.


  • Porcelain tile is manufactured in a factory and is extremely strong, predictable and has an exact, straight line for an edge. With these tiles we can go as tight as a 1/16” grout line.
  • Natural Stone is much more unpredictable and will require a larger grout line. This isn’t necessarily bad, it is a “look” that should match with the tile style.
  • Color of Grout: You will have a choice of color and I always suggest that you either blend perfectly or move in an opposite direction. For example, white tile with grey grout is a fun and practical choice for a kitchen while a bathroom floor should really blend with the grout to avoid seeing dirt.
  • No Grout Line? The only way to avoid this is a solid surface. I recently had a situation where my client simply couldn’t get her head around the grout lines and layout of the backsplash and decided to ditch the entire idea and move to an engineered ¾” stone. They template for this and there will be one solid surface.


I always encourage my clients to think about where to spend your money. I don’t like walking on expensive tile, it seems like a waste of money under your feet. Porcelain has come so far and is very cool – as well as cost efficient so I like Porcelain floors. Bust for the backsplash, I encourage you to think about spending more money. This is where the eye goes and it’s an opportunity to make a statement that blends with the entire kitchen. The backsplash is like the frosting on the cake: the last thing, and so pretty!

Tile is a big part of my job and I love it! It’s fun and integral to bringing a project to completion! Let me know if you need help with choosing your tile and I’ve got your back!


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