Ordering & Shipping
Shipping and Ordering
Customers are advised to purchase a sample before placing your order to make sure the color meets your expectation. The color you see on your screen is not necessarily the same as it is in person. Cement tile colors often appear brighter and more vivid on screen .
Tiles that are in stock usually ship within 2 business days. Transit times vary, but on average, tiles leaving the warehouse take between 5-10 business days to arrive, from time of order. Special orders take from 8–10 weeks, depending on size and quantity.
We advise adding 15% on top of all orders to account for wastage and breakage during installation. Our website automatically adds the additional 15% to your order once you select your desired quantity.
Shipping tiles via airfreight is expensive and batches will vary in appearance. Because of this, it is vital that you order more than you think you need for consistency and to avoid long waiting times.
If you are unsure about quantity, consult your installer before ordering to ensure you have enough to fill your space.
All orders within the US are shipped with UPS by LTL (less than a truckload). Every order is shipped on a pallet and will be delivered curbside. The carrier will contact you within 3-5 days prior to delivery to help you if you have any special requirements, such as a specific date and time of delivery, or need a pallet jack or lift gate. If you need your order shipped outside the US, please email us for a custom freight quote.
The Extra 15%
Please bear in mind that cement tiles are 100% handmade. Ordering more than you need will actually save you money in the long run.
Let us explain why…
Say, for instance, that tiles break or mistakes are made during installation – the price of the extra 15% coverage will be minimal in comparison to the cost of shipping one-off replacements, should you require tiles to complete the job. This is the most common mistake customers make. A small order could cost you a lot more than the original recommended extra 15%.
- All completed orders require 100% payment at time of order.
- Payments are processed online.
- Invoices are provided and copies are sent via email.
- Sales tax is applied at the time of payment and paid as part of the original order.
- Shipping costs are estimated and charged with each order.
Any changes to orders, shipping dates, and/or shipping methods will result in change of order costs which will be determined at the time of change request.
We do not offer refunds or exchanges. All sales are final. And we do not offer restocking fees.
Damaged Goods & Returns
All tiles leave our warehouse carefully packed and in perfect condition. We photograph and video tape each order as it is packed prior to pickup as proof. Claims for damaged or broken tiles must be made through your shipping company. Each customer is responsible for unwrapping inspecting all boxes when received. The driver must wait 15 mins for the inspection and you must record any obvious damage to the boxes immediately on the freight company Bill of Lading (BOL) at the time of delivery. If there is damage or issues with the delivery, photographs will also be required to assist in any claims being made.
Please do not refuse the shipment. If you find damage, missing tiles, or incorrect quantities, please accept the shipment and note the issues in detail on the receipt with the delivery person. When damage is properly noted and photographed, SABA can begin the process of getting replacement tiles to you. Please notify SABA immediately of any tile shortage. All claims for shortages, incorrect tiles or damage, must be made within 24 hours of delivery.
Please also note, the claims agent for the shipping company will request photos and written documentation to process the claim.
Please take time to ensure that this is done carefully and correctly.
The Successful Delivery Checklist:
Ensure that you have someone on-site to accept your delivery. Any missed deliveries or delivery refusals will result in storage and redelivery fees.
Check all items against packing list during the delivery receipt.
Take photos and note any damage with the delivery driver on the BOL.
Contact SABA immediately if there are any issues.
By placing orders, all customers accept and agree to all terms and conditions of sale outlined above.
After receiving your order and inspecting your tiles, it is important to store them correctly prior to installation. Make sure that your tiles are stored in a dry area away from any wet or damp. Wet or damp conditions could cause color damage, stains or surface impairment.
Just prior to install we advise moving the tiles into your intended area and allowing them to acclimate to the humidity of the space for up to 48 hours.
Due to the handmade nature of cement tiles, prior to installation, it is advised that you mix up different tiles from different boxes to achieve a blend. Variation and blend is crucial to getting the most from your tiles aesthetically.
Surface Preparation – Tiling floors
Your installer will need to allow for 3/4″ below your finished floor height (1/2″ or 3/8″ for the tiles depending on the thickness of the tile and 1/8″ for mortar). If your substrate is plywood, be sure the plywood complies with the architect’s specifications for your site and use an installation mat to insure the perfect installation.
When you know that your floor surface is the correct height and completely level, you’ll need to make sure it’s also completely dry before installing your cement tiles. Moisture in concrete can escape through tiles. If that happens, it can cause powdery white limestone deposits to surface. Do not lay your cement tiles directly onto fresh uncured concrete.
Not all cured concrete is moisture-free. Check for moisture by taping a piece of clear plastic onto your slab, about the size of US Letter paper. Thoroughly tape down all four edges. If condensation or moisture appears, you will need to apply a waterproof membrane before installation.
Correct level and dry concrete aren’t all you need for a proper substrate. You will also need to add expansion joints to larger floors or wall applications in order to prevent cracking or fracturing from the possible movement of the substrate. Expansion joints placed according to the proper guidelines will ensure what’s under your tiles has room to move, but in the right way. Remember to always consult your architect or engineer.
If your floor joists have sufficient strength and aren’t bending, you can install tiles on a wooden floor. This is possible if you use a cement backer board first, just like you would do behind the tile in a shower space.
Do not install tiles until all other construction works have been completed. This will help ensure that your cement tiles are not soiled before installation.
It is critical that once the tiles are installed that they are immediately covered with hard board followed by a sealed then a layer of plastic to protect them and dust or dirt until all construction is completed. The hard board is essential to protect them from scratching.
Surface Preparation – Tiling walls
Wall installations require just as much care and preparation as floor installations. Cement tiles can be installed over drywall, plaster, cement block, and cement backer board (for moist areas). The optimum conditions for installation requires a flat, smooth and dry surface. Cracked surfaces must be smoothed out and patched. If using backer board, follow the installation guidelines of the manufacturer.
Once again, be sure that your walls have gone through the same drying steps (See ‘Surface Preparation – Tiling new floors). Excessive moisture can escape through cement tiles and affect them aesthetically.
Surface Preparation – Tiling wet areas
For wet areas such as showers, around pools, and other places prone to moisture, the underlayment should be sealed with a waterproof membrane or other moisture-resistant product. Cement-fiber backer board is an ideal underlayment for tile in wet locations. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. And always consult your architect or engineer.
- Use a high quality thin-set cement-based adhesive such as a Laticrete or Mapei product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always consult with your installer first to see which adheasive they advise is best for your space.
- Using a small grout joint of 1/32” is recommended. Larger joints can disrupt tile patterns and may cause damage to tile edges.
- Treat tiles with care when applying to the adhesive surface. Move in a perpendicular back and forth motion to help achieve a level setting.
- Do not strike tiles with mallets or any other tools. Make sure that all tiles are level and pay attention to the tile’s pattern to make sure it lines up correctly.
- Grouting is the single most important aspect of successful tiling. Failures occur when the incorrect grout or incorrect grouting methods are used.
- Once the mortar bed is sufficiently dried/cured, sweep the floor thoroughly to remove all loose grit.
- Wash the floor with a neutral detergent. For non polycoated tiles never use any acidic cleaners, such as vinegar. Rinse the floor thoroughly with plenty of water. Remove water and allow to dry before buffing or polishing.
- For non polycoated tiles once the floor is dry, apply a grout release, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- For non polycoated Only use natural unsanded grout. Do not use permacolor grout or you could stain tiles.
- Grout your desired area filling in the gaps between the tiles with a rubber N.B. Do not grout the entire floor all at once as this will cause staining from the excess grout. Grout small areas at a time and wipe off the excess grout as you go. (This only applies to non polycoated cement tiles. Grout will not stain polycoated tiles)
- For non polycoated tiles immediately remove excess grout with a clean damp cloth or sponge.
- For non polycoated tiles do not let any excess grout dry on the surface as it may cause staining.
- Allow the grout to dry for 48 hours.
Sealing is only necessary for non polycoated cement tiles. The polycoated tiles do no require sealing.
After installation, it is important to let any moisture in the tiles to evaporate before sealing. Otherwise, moisture could become trapped under the sealant, resulting in dark staining or hairline cracks.
Make sure your tiles are clean and free from any grit, dirt, oil, dust or any other material.
After cleaning, you can reseal the tiles and grout lines to add extra protection, especially in water-prone areas to help avoid excess We recommend using Miracle 511 Porous Plus or any high performance penetrating or impregnating sealant. You should consult with your installer first to see which sealer they advise is best for your space.
Do not put anything over sealer until it has dried N.B.*** For outdoor tile installations, it is critically important to protect your tiles with a penetrating sealer that includes UV protection. This will help combat direct sunlight and maintain the appearance of your tiles.
NB.*** If installing tiles outdoors and you live in an area where freeze–thaw might be an issue, it is also critically important to use a waterproof sealant for non polycoated tiles only. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also note, if after sealing, water does not form beads on the tile surface, your tiles are not sealed correctly.
For outdoor installations, never install cement tiles (waterproofed or otherwise) below grade or level. The tiles will still absorb moisture and freeze–thaw will happen.
Outdoor wall installations will require flashing to act as weather proofing support to prevent moisture from forming behind your installation.
SABA tile recommends that each customer hire a licensed contractor with specific expertise in installing cement tiles prior to installation. The installation procedures given above are meant as a general guide only. SABA Tile Company does not accept any liability for installation, care & maintenance or repairs once orders have been received by the customer.
Care & Maintenance
Your cement tiles have been installed. You’re totally besotted and in love with them. Now, here’s how to care for them and keep them in tiptop condition.
Cement tiles are porous in nature, meaning they may take on moisture and are affected by the environment in which they live. For best results non polycoated cement tiles should be sealed 2-3 times a year with an impregnating or penetrating sealer to help maintain their looks and deter staining. It is a quick and simple process of wiping the sealer on the surface with a cloth leaving it sit for 3 -5 minutes then wiping off any excess. For clients in the US we recommend using Miracle 511 Porous Plus but you should consult with your installer first to see which sealer they advise is best for your space.
Keep in mind that even after sealing non polycoated cement tiles can still stain easily and you should always try to wipe any spillage immediately to reduce the risk of permanent staining.
For non polycoated cement tiles cleaning regularly with an PH neutral detergent will help keep the tiles looking fresh and reduce the appearance of water spotting. Avoid using acids to clean your tiles. These may include, vinegar, lemon juice, bleach, industrial detergents or citrus soaps. Never allow water to accumulate on tiles. This could result in staining or cracking.
Terms of Sale
Cement Tile Appearance
All of our products are handmade – and because of this – every tile is slightly different. This is part of their unique charm. Understanding the cement tile manufacturing process helps appreciate how tiles age and wear over time – ultimately becoming more beautiful. Customers must seal and maintain tiles as per instructional guidelines. Doing this protects them and ensures longevity. It is critical that cement tiles are maintained correctly.
Cement tiles suit a variety of uses, however, it is important that you research cement tile performance and suitability for your desired space – before installation. SABA cannot make guarantees on performance or maintenance of tiles after they have been installed.
Cement tiles are all handmade. This delicate manufacturing process means every tile is slightly different, with very minor variations in size, shading and appearance.
For non polycoated cement tiles their color and tone may change over time, but with regular maintenance they will last you a lifetime. If considering cement tiles for your project, ensure that you order a sufficient quantity to account for color matching, as well as damage, cutting and waste that may occur during installation. We recommend adding 15% extra to all orders to account for this.
During installation, mix and match tiles from different boxes to achieve a more natural blend and to ensure cohesiveness. We recommend doing this as colours may vary slightly from batch to batch.