You Have Questions and We Have Answers

What is the difference between quarry tile and ceramic tile? Can quarry tile be used outdoors? Is quarry tile right for both commercial and residential use? Choosing the right flooring is a big decision and with big decisions come many questions. We have compiled a list of our most frequently asked quarry tile questions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us and we will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

Quarry Tile Frequently Asked Questions

Quarry tile is not a resilient tile or some other type of non-ceramic floor covering. Quarry tile is a hard, extremely durable ceramic tile, similar to porcelain tile in its hardness – but made differently than porcelain tile or other ceramic tiles.

Ceramic quarry tile is made of a combination of clay, shale and other natural ingredients. Quarry tile is not made with a form. Instead, the raw materials are mixed and then extruded – think Play-Doh Fun Factory. Once extruded, the tiles are dried and fired in kilns at high temperatures.

Quarry tile is unglazed, the color is through the body, and there is no glaze to scratch, wear off or cause slip issues. The manufacturing process makes quarry tile low absorption (vitreous), slip resisting and very durable.

Ceramic quarry tile is made for all sorts of heavy traffic commercial flooring applications with spills and moisture, where slip resistance and durability are primary concerns. Commercial kitchen floors are one of the leading areas that use ceramic quarry tile.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is a member of the ceramic tile family – quarry tile is a ceramic tile but made differently. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is slip resisting, resists impact, resists abrasion, resists chipping, is scratch resisting and resists freeze-thaw effects. You can use quarry tile indoors and out including for areas like bathrooms, kitchens, entryways, mudrooms, patios, walkways, pool surrounds and shower floors.

You can use Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile in combination with other ceramic tile products and other floorcoverings. Because of the thickness of quarry tile – normally ½” thick – you will need to incorporate a transition when using quarry tile with thinner floor covering products.

Metropolitan Ceramics 6”x 6” quarry tile has 28 pieces in a carton. Coverage is 7 square feet. A carton of our 8” x 8” tile contains 16 pieces and covers 7.1 square feet.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is not glazed, so there is no glaze to compromise. The tiles are extruded, creating a tight die skin surface and solid tile that resists scratching. The tile’s color is through the body, so the color will not wear or scratch off.

While Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tiles can stain, they are stain-resisting. In areas where the floor may be subject to spills with a propensity to stain, as in a commercial kitchen, sealing the tile and grout with a water-based penetrating sealer is recommended.

Many factors can cause a person to slip, including the floor surface, floor maintenance, footwear, environmental conditions and spills. While no floor covering can guarantee they are non-slip, Metropolitan Ceramics floors are slip resisting with a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of ≥ .60 at time of manufacture, well above the industry threshold of .42.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is made up of clay and shale and fired in kilns at 2,000 degrees. Installed quarry tile is an inert material and does not off gas any harmful substances. There is also no asbestos in quarry tile.

There is no yes or no answer to this question. The corrosive attributes of some acids at full strength or nearly full strength will negatively affect most surfaces. And effects will vary widely depending on the type of acid and how much it is diluted. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile will have some resistance to most well-diluted acids found in typical commercial and residential applications, providing the spill is cleaned up correctly and expediently.

No, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is fired to temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and once fired is an inert material. The tile does not produce any toxic fumes and does not promote mold or bacteria growth.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile meets ADA guidelines.  Metropolitan manufactures two trim pieces specifically designed as barrier-free components. One is Q8485, a transition tile, and the other is Q1485T, a stair tread with a rounded leading edge.

While ceramic quarry tile is not designed for use inside a swimming pool or inside a fireplace, you can use Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile in most other areas. Wherever you need a durable and slip-resisting floor covering that can handle extreme temperatures, heavy traffic and spills/moisture is a candidate for Metropolitan ceramics quarry tile.

Yes, you can use Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile n a walk-in freezer. What makes Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile so versatile is that you can use Metropolitan in extreme temperatures. For example, the tile can be used in a restaurant kitchen in all areas, from the walk-in freezer to the commercial dishwasher and oven areas.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can take the heat. Of course, “hot” is a relative term, but for areas like commercial kitchens where there are fryers, dishwashers and ovens and always the potential for a hot spill, Metropolitan is the right choice. Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can also be steam cleaned if necessary., Many industrial and food processing applications are also great places to use Metropolitan quarry tile. Check with our customer service team @ 1-800-325-3945 to see if Metropolitan Ceramics is right for your hot spot.

If installed properly, you can use Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile in numerous industrial applications. Heavy objects will not cause the tiles to rise. You can use the tiles in areas where there is cart and equipment traffic. Heavy equipment can even drive over quarry tile. Metropolitan makes a ¾” Paver tile for more demanding spaces. Benefits of using quarry tile for these areas include hygienic properties, aesthetic appeal, straightforward maintenance, slip resistance and durability. Check with our customer service team @ 1-800-325-3945 to see if Metropolitan Ceramics is right for your industrial area.

Yes, the low absorption nature of the tiles (less than 3% and qualifies as vitreous) makes them suitable for use outdoors in any climate. With Metropolitan ceramics quarry tile you can enhance areas like cement slab patios, concrete walkways, a properly prepared deck and even a concrete garden path.

Yes, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile has been successfully installed on driveways and in garages. Because the tiles are 1/2″ thick,  low absorption and hard-fired, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile can be installed in any climate. They can withstand the weight of cars, light and medium-duty trucks, and machinery.. We recommend using a qualified tile contractor and following the Tile Council of North America guidelines for your installation.

Will chlorine hurt the tile? The tile is not recommended for use in a pool. It can, however, be used surrounding a pool. Chlorinated water splashing on the tile will not hurt the tile.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is not rated for use in a fireplace. It can be used for a hearth, outside of a fireplace or behind a wood-burning stove.

Here is a link to Metropolitan Ceramics’ distributors. You can also contact our customer service team @ 1800-325-3945.

This will vary by region, amount purchased and installation cost.  The life cycle cost of a Metropolitan ceramics quarry tile floor is the lowest among floor covering options. Find a distributor or contact our customer service team @ 1800-325-3945 to learn more.

Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile is installed using the tile setting methods you use with other ceramic tiles. Since quarry tile is thicker than many other tiles, there is more weight to take into consideration. Cutting the thick/dense tiles will also require cutting tools rated for quarry tile. The grout width required for quarry tiles is wider (3/8″) than most ceramic tiles, also affecting the installation requirements.

While you can do it yourself, we recommend using a qualified ceramic tile contractor, preferably certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation. The installer must follow the Tile Council of North AmericaHandbook for tile installation – there are details and methods for every type of installation in the handbook.

For instance, the type of grout used for your installation will vary depending on several factors, including indoor vs. outdoor use. The type of subfloor and subfloor preparation is also a critical consideration the handbook will address. What sized trowel to use and how to remove dry grout left on the quarry tile surface will need to be addressed. Each installation material manufacturer will also have special installation instructions specific to their product.

Yes, you can do it yourself, but with these and many more variables to consider, you may choose to leave it to the experts to avoid a failure down the line.

Yes, epoxy grout can be used following the grout manufacturer’s instructions and is the best option in demanding applications like commercial kitchen floors. Use and cleanup of epoxy grout varies from sanded grout or polymer-modified grout and may be more involved. Carefully read manufacturer’s instructions.

Since Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is hard-fired and 1/2″ thick, it can be difficult to cut with some tile score and snap cut tools and inexpensive wet saws. Use a heavy-duty commercial score and snap tool or a commercial-grade tile wet saw rated for quarry tile to cut the tiles. Tile nippers are also recommended for trimming the tiles and making detailed adjustments. DO NOT grind or dry cut. Improper installation techniques could expose installer to harmful silica dust.

Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile is designed to be used with a 3/8″ grout joint. The 3/8″ joint, along with the tile’s relieved edge, adds to the floor’s slip-resisting characteristics. Since the tile is designed for use with a 3/8″ joint, the 4″ x 8″ and 8″ x 8″ sizes are nominal and will not fit together in certain patterns if a smaller joint is used. Our 6″ x 6″ tile has occasionally been laid using a 1/4″ joint, but this is not the norm, nor is it recommended. You should never use a joint size smaller than 1/4″.

Today, there are various grout options available for ceramic floor tiles, including sanded grout, polymer-modified grout, and epoxy grout. Each grout manufacturer’s formulation for each type of grout will vary.  You must read all instructions on the grout packaging before using any grout. Each grout will have proprietary instructions for use and clean up. Consult with your grout sales representative for help in choosing the right grout for Metropolitan Ceramics, quarry tile and your particular application.

Before there were so many grout options available, this question had a pretty straightforward answer. Today, you will need to check with the grout manufacturer about removing the grout haze left after grouting and a final wipe down. Applying a water-based penetrating sealer (thoroughly clean the tile first) or grout haze remover before grouting can help with grout clean-up. Again, check with the grout manufacturer and get their recommendations.

Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile is extruded (which tightly compacts the tile body) and is then fired at high temperatures. The tile has very low porosity – low absorption. For many installations, Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile does not require sealing. However, in areas subject to heavy traffic and spills of grease, oil, and things that stain, such as a restaurant kitchen, we recommend sealing both the tile and the grout with a water-based penetrating sealer. Sealing the tile and grout with a water-based penetrating sealer will help protect the tile and grout from staining and prevent grease and food particles’ entrapment. Make sure the tile and grout are completely clean before applying a water-based penetrating sealer. Read the penetrating sealer manufacturers’ application instructions thoroughly before applying the sealer. Do not use any topical floor sealers to seal quarry tile as it can negatively affect the tiles’ slip resistance.

Here is a link to the cleaning and maintenance guide on the Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile website and a link to our cleaning video. Briefly, though, Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile can be maintained with warm water and a neutral cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap® or Spic and Span®. You should not need to use any harsh chemicals for routine maintenance of the floor. Use a two-bucket system, one with clean hot water and cleaner and one with clean water, to wring the mop and remove dirt from the floor. Change mop water regularly. You can also maintain Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile floors with cleaners designed to be more friendly to the environment as part of a green maintenance program.

Yes, quarry tile is an inert product so fired scrap can be used for road bed material – for example. Ironrock also re-grinds and adds fired scrap into the mix when making Metropolitan Ceramics Quarry Tile.

See the commercial kitchen section of the Metropolitan Ceramics quarry tile website for a comparison.

We cannot guarantee the results of adding glaze to the surface and re-firing our products. Any attempt to do so is at the risk of the purchaser and would void the warranty. Painting the surface (with latex or oil-based paint) in general would also be at the risk of the purchaser.

Because of the Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile production method, we have found successful production to be no larger than 4″x12″ or 6″x9″. Our most popular sizes are 4″x8″, 8″x8″, and 6″x6″.

For the Down to Earth product use corresponding QUARRYBASICS single tone color trim.

Although not designed for this purpose, we frequently get this question about Metropolitan Ceramics’ quarry tile. We do not manufacture our tile for this use and it is not FDA approved for use in baking food. Therefore, we do not endorse its use in this manner.

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Still have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us online and someone will be in touch regarding your request. We are also available by phone at 1.800.325.3945.

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