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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, we sell directly to the public. Our working studio combines the showroom and stock areas. With no offsite showroom or paid sales staff, we have kept our overhead low and our prices down.
Yes. Our studio is open to the public 10-6, Monday through Saturday. We are closed from 1-2 for lunch.
Please call or email in advance of visiting or just drop in if you're in town.
No, unfortunately we do not make address numbers in tile.
We do however have deco tiles that can create a frame around a field tile center where purchased numbers can be attached or even sandblasted into the field tile by a sign guy or handyman.
Yes, some of our tile designs are reproductions of historic patterns . We have made tiles for restorations on historical buildings, such as The Wrigley Memorial on Catalina Island, Ca. and The Adamson House in Malibu, Ca. where we needed to exactly match the old tiles. We offer these historically accurate tiles for sale.
Most of our tile designs, though, are original to RTK Studios yet influenced by the historic roots of tile worldwide.
Our only showroom is in Ojai, California. (We do keep current on the website, though).
The address is: RTK Studios 206 Canada St., Ojai CA 93023
The majority of our designs and murals are original and yes, they are copy written. We have been inspired by the designs of American tile makers from the early 1900's as well as influences from Africa, medieval Europe and Latin America so as to recreate the charm and nuances of the magic of that time and place.
Our lead time for a custom order is based on our production schedule at the time the order is placed, which could range from 4-12 weeks.
We can do a rush order for an additional 25% mark-up on the job total. Still, the nature of the beast requires time in the processes of making ceramic art.
You can return tiles from stock, in good shape, within 30 days of purchase for a refund less a 15% restocking fee.
There are no refunds on custom tiles.
There are no refunds on damaged tiles.
Yes, we work with a 50% deposit on all custom orders. The balance is due upon completion. This does not include packing and shipping charges.
Deposits on custom orders are non-refundable.
Yes, we do offer design services. We bill at $160 per hour. We design concepts, layouts, technical aspects as well as individual tiles and murals.
Yes, we can, but it's expensive.
There is quite a lot of work involved formulating and testing our glazes to match the color, surface quality, nuances, etc. of the old tiles, not to mention the tile body's characteristics (rounded edges, coarse surface, thickness, size).
The order needs to be large enough to absorb these costs or small if you don't mind spending like $2,000 per tile...
You do not want me to install your tiles! Really!
Although we are asked frequently to give courses in tile making, the demands in production keep us too busy. We do give studio tours and process demos to docents, students, etc. Please call for availability.
Yes, we accept custom orders. The minimum order for custom decos (decorative) tiles starts at $2,000. The minimum order for field (single color) tiles is 100 square feet.
Ordering a below minimum orders of custom field tile and trim:
This calculation takes into consideration that any run of field tile requires about the same amount of prep work in making and processing glazes, the same equipment set-up and cleanup and a higher percentage of over-runs the smaller order.
We take the number of tiles in a below minimum order and subtract it from the 100 sq.ft. minimum then split that number in half to determine the percentage increase square footage price of the below minimum order.
For example: an order of 75 sq.ft. is short 25 sq.ft. of the 100 sq.ft. minimum. We take 25 and divide it by 2 to get a 12.5% upcharge for this below minimum order.
Note: This formula does not apply to very small numbers of custom field, trim, liners etc. These will be calculated on a per order basis.
Yes, our tiles are vitrious, (glass-like). Water cannot penetrate to cause problems in areas where frost or freezing is a concern. This makes them well suited for water areas such as pools and fountains.
Usually 10% is recommended. If your project has tight areas or a detailed layout you may want to order more. Always good to have a stash saved in case of damage from leaky pipes or unexpected remodel by 6 year old on a skateboard...
We recommend natural gray grout, it's so boring your eye doesn't notice the grout, just the tile. Although if you wish, you can darken it a bit with a natural gray/charcoal blend, maybe 3 parts to 1 or warm it a bit with a natural gray/brown mix.
We recommend a 3/16th" grout joint. "Natural Grey" sanded grout also perferred.
The white film is a calcium and mineral deposit from our water. The same as in your teakettle or around your faucets if you're in an area with hard water...(AKA: So.California).
You can try a mix of elbow grease and:
Product #1: http://www.oxyboost.com/productPages/mineralMagic.html
Product #2: http://www.intlstoneworks.com/specialty/mdr_instructions.htm
Product #3: http://cmcchemical.com/featured/210_mineral_deposit_remover.html
Product #4: http://www.scumoff.com/
With or without any of these products, you can use a single edge razor blade scraper with handle and, after applying a soapy film to lubricate the surface, lightly scrape the worst areas with the blade flat against the surface at about a 45 degree angle to the surface in the direction of the push.
Then use something like a 3M plastic scrub pad (usually green) and an everyday scouring product such as "Bar Keepers Friend" or a "soft scrub" scouring powder. Again, don't scrub with a lot of pressure, just use a lot of back and forth scrubbing with light pressure and keep checking the surface by wiping it clean with a sponge and dry with a towel to see if the film is gone.
After hard water scale is removed, apply a liquid polymer car wax. This will inhibit future accumulation and lessen the effort to remove build-up.