Please note: this page contains reviews and opinions sent in by Berkeley Parents Net subscribers. Your
own experience may be different. Please always check references before hiring!
Berkeley Parents Network >
House & Garden >
Replacing 1930's kitchen counter tiles
We have a cute little 1930s kitchen with very worn tile
countertops. I want to replace and am looking for a good
recommendation for someone to do the work. I've considered
going with a non-tile option and have heard Sullivan's is
great but I don't want to ruin the 1930s charm. Does anyone
still do tile countertops? Any help/recommendations are
greatly appreciated...thanks! nicky
If you are looking to replace the vintage tile, I found NOS
vintage tile at World of Tile in Springfield, NJ. I sent
them a piece of my worn tile, and they matched it for me.
Just google 'world of tile vintage' and you can read other
people's experiences with the place. Happy with old stuff
I higly recommend Andy Frasheski for your project. He does
tile work and he is very clever, creative and resourceful.
He has great designing ideas and suggestions. and he is
always looking for ways to save his customers money without
cutting on quality materials and job satisfaction. Andy has
a great eye for detail and solves problems effectively in a
very creative manner. His rates are very reasonable. Andy
can be reached at 510-644- 3711 or email@example.com
I would like to recommend Gelu Ilie for your 1930s kitchen
countertop. Gelu has put in indoor and outdoor tile in two
houses of mine, including patio, staircase, indoor bathroom
floor, wall, custom bath, kitchen, and laundry room floor.
He is a very artistic and precise master of tile from the
'old world' (Europe). He is also very fast and clean. I am
not a very artistic person, and it was great to work with
him, because he gave me some wonderful suggestions on color,
texture and size to create a harmonious look. He is also a
fun and pleasant person to work with. He can be reached at
(510) 506-5073. Christina
I wanted to recommend a tile contractor who recently redid
our old, dark, totally unattractive bathtub/shower area.
Gullu Li(510-506-5073) understood the exact type of tile
that I wanted. The guys at Import Tile knew him by name and
told me that he could easily handle any tile we chose. He
has a good eye for what looks good and works with very
little supervision. He also spent a lot of extra time
finding a missing part for my shower mechanism. That was
easily hours and hours above and beyond! Aileen
Countertop Installer and Tile
I'm looking for an inexpensive countertop installer. I have
a small kitchen with only 12' of linear feet in a straight
run, plus backsplash. We haven't decided on material, don't
know if this matters when looking for installers. Possibly
quartz or some type of stone. We also have a tiny area above
the backsplash that could use some tile.
I can highly recommend Gelu Ilie
geluconstruction[at]gmail.com. His work is great looking, he
is super easy to deal with, the tiles go down fast, and he
can get you a sweet discount at Berkeley Import Tile too!
Plus he went the extra mile and hauled out some carpet for
me too. Thumbs way up.
- super happy with tiles
Tile installer for small bathroom
I'm looking for someone to install tile on my small bathroom
floor that presently has sheet vinyl. Not sure what
condition the subfloor is in but there's the possibility
that it's not in great shape and may need to be replaced. I
usually like to work with someone who is licensed. Thanks.
Need new flooring
Tiler - Laura Pfaendler, 415-261-2087. She did a great job
on our little bathroom. Tell her Rebecca on Chestnut in
Berkeley recommended her. Rebecca
We have used two very good tile persons over the years. Both
are excellent, reliable and have an artistic eye if you need
assistance with the design of your project. Jay Hamann is
one at 510-635-5526. The other is Sarah Young at
In 2006 we had Al Ozalp tile our bathroom. He did a great
job and I immediately recommended him to a friend who was
pleased with his work also. Al built a shelf at the end of
the tub that has been very useful and he recommended a
special epoxy grout that resists mold much better than other
products. The grout has held up very well. His contact
informtation: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell:
510-978-2343. Good luck, Judy
I and my family are so impressed with our remodeled
bathroom, that are delighted to recommend Ilie Gelu Gabriel
to anyone who needs the same services.
He began presenting us many options to choose from,
displaying admirable photos of bathrooms he remodeled. We
were so impressed not only with his work but with his
diligence, knowledge, and care, through this remodeling. He
explained in details what is the best for us and why. He is
a true professional in the "tile world" ! So happy to meet
Gelu Gabriel Ilie is a real artist! His work is state of
the art! Our very old bathroom - over 50 years - now looks
marvelous! Gelu Gabriel Ilie made our dream come true! He
is "present" in our home due to his exceptional work! The
job was completed as scheduled showing respect for us and
his loyalty to the construction profession. Please, come and
see! Need bathroom remodeling? Please, call Gelu @510 516
5073 or vizit: www.gelu-construction.com .He is the best!
My wife and I recently remodeled our downstairs and upstairs
bathrooms in our 1926 Oakland Bay Area Craftsman home. We
used Gelu for the tilework and he did an EXCELLENT job. We
would definitely recommend him to anyone considering
tilework. He did such a great job on the bathrooms -
rebuliding a downstairs tile showerpan/shower box and tile
floor and an upstairs bathroom bathtub tiled enclosure
walls, tile floor and mosaic tile backsplash for the newly
installed double vanity. The excellent results on the
bathrooms helped convince us to do a full glass tile mosaic
backsplash for our newly installed kitchen granite
countertops and over backsplash - which are fabulous!
Friends have commented on how great the tile looks and have
asked for Gelu's contact information. Gelu has a great flair
for design and helped us in selecting tile patterns, colors
and mosaics. In fact his design eye extends beyond tiling -
Gelu helped convince my wife and I to open up our kitchen by
demolishing a wall and installing a granite breakfast bar
island between the old kitchen and a breakfast nook area -
this was probably the single best design decision we could
have done and our new kitchen is so much more inviting,
light and really highlights the granite and tilework. Gelu
was also very responsive to any minor questions, issues or
fixes along the way - such as when our electrician dislodged
one of the kitchen mosaic tiles when installing an outlet
cover, or relaying a tile that someone had stepped on while
the cement was still wet. Great work and highly
recommended.510-5065073 gelu cell,http://www.gelu-
We can't be happier with Gelu work. We asked Gelu to remodel
our two bathrooms, and two and half weeks later, we can't be
more thrilled at the results. The tile work in both
bathrooms was excellent, the epoxy grout on the floor
awesome, and the frameless shower absolutely gorgeous.The
construction process was very smooth.The first thing he did
when he came in was to cover the floor and stairs with thick
paper, so that construction debris and dust would not damage
our hardwood floor. He made great and affordable suggestions
that we did not think of that really improved the overall
look of our bathroom, including the use of granite for the
shower seat and other trim, and also adding trim work around
the main window, which looked great!The price was very good.
He is also very fair. Overall, we are very satisfied with
Gelu work. We would definitely want to work with him again
in the future.His number is:(510)506-5073. Good luck!John.
Zee at Innovative Tile is an affordable, experienced and
amazing tile setter! I have had him do a small bathroom and
he has done work for many people I know and they have all
been really happy. His website is
http://bayareatilesetting.com or give him a call
Tile installation expert for bathroom
I am looking for an expert in laying tile to install plain,
square white tiles on my bathroom walls (floor to ceiling).
I am looking for someone who is really good at putting the
tile in precisely, and in a way that aesthetically goes
around all of the 'obstacles' along the wall, such as the
plumbing for the toilet, the mirrors, the light fixtures and
the edge of the vanity. I want a very nice, clean finished
look. Oh yes, and I'd like that person to also install a
few new towel racks on the walls for me, if possible.
Castro Valley resident
Anthony Sueuga (510-301-8482) is your guy. The work he and
his crew produce is impeccable.
He has done two shower remodels for me with incredible
results. The first shower needed to match the rest of the
tile in a 1920's style bathroom and the tile had to
incorporate the pattern in the room. Not a simple job (tile
on the ceiling!) but it was done perfectly. The second
shower involved tiling that was a fairly straightforward job
but the beautiful tile work sets it apart.
Anthony and his crew are extremely competent, fast, and all
around nice guys to work with. I found his rates to be in
the ballpark of others but it is his work that sets him
Best of luck to you!
- picky about my tile too
Hi, I would like to recommend Kermit Franks of Native Sons
Construction for tiling your bathroom. He has several
references and does beautiful tile work- he has been working
in the bay area for over 30 years- He can be reached at 707
537 7632 or at email@example.com
Gelu Ilie (510 506 5073) recently tiled our bathroom floor
and wall and did excellent work at a reasonable price. He
was prompt, very efficient, very professional, and very
nice. We would hire him to do tile work again and recommend
him highly. slsw
Give Gelu Ilie a call. He's a tile expert trained in Europe,
and he will do exactly that kind of detail tile installation
work you are looking for. He tiled two houses for me,
installing tile indoors and outdoors, on the floor and
walls, in a kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, patio and
stairs. He does a precise job, and works efficiently and
affordably. Plus he's a really nice guy. You can reach him
by phone at (510) 506-5073. Anushka, Berkeley
Experienced Tiler Needed
Looking for a very experienced tilesetter to re do my
bathroom floor in Walnut Creek. Current tile floor will not
retain grout -- we have regrouted it numerous times and the
grout crumbles away within days, so I need someone who can
diagnose what the problem is (subflooring, floor joists,
etc.) -- need someone who knows more than just laying tile
on the floor.
Thanks in advance.
Cathy Raingarden has done two excellent tiling jobs for me.
A floor and a bathroom. She does an excellent job. She
lives in Berkeley and has kids at Berkeley High. Berkeley
Sorin Feraru and his crew did an amazing job with our
bathroom remodel, so I'm thinking you can contact him for
the tile job. Sorin is very knowledgeable, straight forward
and honest. His crew had great respect towards our property
and the tiles in the bathroom, as well as the bathroom
itself, turn out great. We are planning to hire Sorin again
to remodel our kitchen in the near future. You can reach
Sorin at 510-228-7366.
Hello, if you haven't already found someone, I highly
recommend Jose Maravilla (510) 381-0399. He's really great.
He's a perfectionist so I'm sure he'd do a great job for you
too. He's done all my outdoor work from building pergolas to
laying flagstone. He even helped with my bathroom remodel.
He's fabulous and reasonably priced. Best of luck love my
Re: Bathroom designer and contractor needed
We just finished a new bathroom - tiled tub surround, floor
and vanity top and want to recommend the tile contractor,
Tessera Tile and Stone. We got a quick reply to scheduling
the estimate, work and coordinating the plumber. We had some
previous water damage, and they really know their water
proofing. We were also impressed that the work passed
inspection easily. The installers were friendly,
professional and left the work area neat at the end of each
day. The finished bathroom is beautiful and we highly
recommend them. The owner's name is Bruce Freedman.
We highly recommend Gelu Ilie (510 506 5073) for tiling
We have remodeled one bathroom and also built a new bathroom
part of an extension. Gelu Ilie did an excellent tile work
in both bathrooms,
both floors and walls. He did both the preparation and the
actual laying of the tile.
Part of the work was with marble and the rest was
with ceramic tile. In both of the bathrooms there were
challenges as we were very picky with the symmetry lines and
in cases when the wall configuration was complex. Gelu was
accommodating to all our wishes, even if that meant doubling
the number of
cuts or more delicate planning of the layout. He did the job
patiently and skillfully, with a very nice end result. On
top of that he
is very trustworthy and a very pleasant person to have
around. We will
hire him for the next job without even considering other
Tiler needed for bathroom remodel
I'm looking for a tile person for a bathroom remodel.
I need someone who understands backing materials, who can
get the room ready for tile as well as lay the tile, and can
figure out some of the intricate complications of the
design. I don't mind if they are slow as long as it gets
And of course, I want to pay as little as possible for
Please don't respond if you are the tiler - I'm looking for
recommendations only. Also, if you do respond and could
allow me to come over and see the tile work it would be
Thanks in advance!
A good friend recently had his bathroom remodeled and added
a large tile shower. He loved the person who did the tile
work and says he highly recommends her. I saw it last week
and it is just beautiful. Her name is Jo Bauen
(firstname.lastname@example.org). She can be reached at (510) 418-1959.
We highly recommend Gelu Ilie (510 506 5073) for tiling work.
We have remodeled one bathroom and also built a new bathroom as
part of an extension. Gelu Ilie did an excellent tile work in both bathrooms,
both floors and walls. He did both the preparation and the actual laying of the tile.
Part of the work was with marble and the rest was
with ceramic tile. In both of the bathrooms there were significant
challenges as we were very picky with the symmetry lines and patterns even
in cases when the wall configuration was complex. Gelu was very
accommodating to all our wishes, even if that meant doubling the number of
cuts or more delicate planning of the layout. He did the job very
patiently and skillfully, with a very nice end result. On top of that he
is very trustworthy and a very pleasant person to have around. We will
hire him for the next job without even considering other contractors.
For those looking for a tile setter: I found Wen Lin's name on the Berkeley
Parents Network. After getting a bid from him - which was literally 1/3 the
cost of some of the others I received and which he was willing to do without
actually seeing the job (I sent photos) - I called several of his references,
which were good. So with some trepidation I hired him to tile my bathroom
floors and a somewhat complicated bathtub surround. Wen was AWESOME! It
turned out that my contractor had left a number of problems that many other
tile setters would have used as an excuse to raise their bid price. Not Wen -
he reacted to every obstacle - and there were several - with equanimity, good
humor and suggestions about how to deal. He also had a very good artistic
sense and made some changes that improved upon my design. His mantra
was: ''The most important thing for me is for you to be happy with the job I
do.'' And I was -- in fact, I was so happy that I voluntarily paid him more
than his bid because he had to drive so far and do so much extra work.
Wen also lays floors, installs counters and does kitchens and baths, but not
having used him in those areas I can't speak to his work there. He's still
young and doesn't have 25 years of experience behind him but if you're
looking for someone with the old-fashioned values of honesty, hard work
and giving the customer what s/he wants in the most economical way
possible, Wen's your guy. Working with him was a delight and I'm very happy
with the final product.
I highly recommend Mircea Ilie Construction and his tile guy
Gelu Ilie. We did a complete bathroom remodel. The tile
looks beautiful thanks to Gelu, and Mircea's men worked
tirelessly to get the job finished. No detail was
overlooked and Mircea's price was extremeley reasonable. We
would use Mircea for any type of remodel and would
definitely use Gelu for any tile work. Mircea Ilie
Construction: www.mircea-construction.com; Gelu Ilie:
Phylece Snyder (510-444-8103) did an excellent job on my
bathroom remodel, for which I acted as the general
contractor. I sought a licensed tiler, rather than a
contractor who did tile work among other tasks, and one who
did the work themselves, rather than supervising an
employee. Phylece has years of experience and provided rare
service. For instance, I used limestone tiles and wanted
the grout lines to be as thin as possible so that the seams
would be inconspicuous. Phylece was not only experienced
but enthusiastic about doing this, and the results are
beautiful. She made up sample boards with several different
grout colors, so that I could select the one I liked best ?
it made an enormous difference seeing the actual grout on
the actual tiles rather than going by those sample sticks
the grout manufacturers provide. I could go on, but the
bottom line is exceptional quality and attention to detail,
and a collaborative process.
We hired Gelu Ilie (510) 506-5073 for several tiling
projects, are incredibly pleased with the results and
recommend him without reservation. During a major
restoration project our kitchen had to be torn apart to
repair some structural problems with the walls & floor. Gelu
was able to match his work so well with the existing tile
work that it is virtually impossible to tell the difference.
Additionally, Gelu installed a very beautiful, complex
pattern on our exterior upper deck. He helped us to select a
quality product for this purpose, and lent his expertise to
our design choices. He is incredibly down to earth and
trustworthy & a lot of fun to work with. He has a website
with a photo gallery so you can see some of his work.
While it is true that Mircea Ilie Construction did a nice
job on the tile floor when they redid our bathroom, they did
a terrible job on the rest. I think the guy was
over-committed, and the people working for him did not know
what they were doing. He did not come to do the job when he
said he would. They installed the shower backwards. Some
of the fixtures are still not installed correctly. One of
his workmen FELL THROUGH THE FLOOR to the floor below while
working on the project. The shower they installed leaked
through to the floor below, and we had to call them back to
fix the leak, but they left my husband to patch the ceiling.
I know others have mentioned him already, but I'd also like to recommend Gelu Ilie
for tile work. He did a wonderful job tiling our floor, walls, and new shower
stall. The bathroom remodel was handled by Mircea Ilie and a year later we're still
delighted with the work.
Kitchen Tile Installation?
I'm looking for new tile for our kitchen. Anyone know
someone good and affordable who will also help me select the
I highly recommend Paul Gilbert for tile work. He has done
kitchen and bathroom floors, kitchen backsplash and
bathroom tiles for us, and his work is perfection. We had
picked out a tile for our kitchen floor that he told us
would cost a lot more than another alternative to install,
so, with his recommendation, we were able to get basically
the same look a lot less expensively. He also helped us
design our kitchen backsplash and it is lovely. We still
have a couple bathrooms to do and I would not consider
hiring anyone else. I have recommended him to friends and
coworkers and everyone has been very pleased with his work
and his price. He can be reached at 510-839-7926. Good
I highly recommend Idan Bearman -- his work is superb and he is fair, honest,
reliable, and reasonably priced. I've been delighted with the work he's done for
us. You can reach him at 510-830-7927, or email@example.com.
Stone tile installer for bathroom remodel
I'm looking for someone with expertise working with stone tile -
probably limestone - for a bathroom remodel. The project
involves floor and shower. Experience tiling over a floor heater
mat is a plus.
Hi, I would recommend LaMorinda Tile and Stone in Concord.
They are pretty professional and do good work. Also, they are
really fast and very accommodating to your needs. Their number
Sorin Feraru took care of the remodeling for the two bathrooms in our home.He did
such an amazing job, that words are not enough to describe the good quality of the
work.We also had stone tiles installed in both bathrooms, and we could not be happier
with them.Sorin is trustworthy, reliable, he always picks up his phone, or calls you
back if he misses the call from you. Also, he took really good care of our house using
plastic barriers to prevent the dust spreading, left the work site broom clean at the
end if each day, and he was very nice with the kids.You can reach him at 510 228 7366
or check out his website at www.feraru.us.
California Rebuilders does beautiful stone tile work. Give him a
call at 843-1800 and tell him what it is you need. He will be
more than happy to help you achieve the look you want.
Small tile job
I have about 10 4x4 white tiles missing from my shower surround. Any recommendations
for someone who is willing to do a small job? I have read archives but they appear to
be for BIG jobs.
I can recommend a person who did a few small jobs for me -
including shower tile replacement. His name is Pablo Perez and
he has pretty reasonable prices. His number is 776-3062.
Note - Pablo's English is not great (his native language is
Spanish), but he understands the work and if there are any
translation issues, he has a high school son and daughter who can
help with translation.
I recommend calling Gelu Ilie at (510) 506-5073. He did a
beautiful job in our tiny bathroom and I would call him again
for any job, big or small. He's very easy to work with.
I can't speak to whether she can do such a small job, but I was
very happy with Iva Walton, who just tiled my newly remodeled
bathroom. She does meticulous work and offered some very
successful solutions for some tricky issues. If she's available,
she does great work and I found her hourly rate quite reasonable.
Her # is 914-0860.
Need a quick tile layer for a very uneven floor
We are remodeling our house, and need a good tiler who can do the
floors and the bathroom in record time. We're not picky, we want
a professional, durable job done on time (and on the double). The
concrete floor needs to have the substandard tile ripped out,
be leveled and have tile put on the floor and in the 3 x 3
shower. Any leads on someone who works fast???
We just had new tile installed in our kitchen and entryway and
slate installed on our outside walkway. We used Hector Garcia
at Bay Works Tile & Stone and couldn't be happier with his
work. He is extremely professional and responsive (returned my
call on Thanksgiving Day when I had a concern about the color
of tile we had selected)and his work is beautiful. We checked
out several of his references before he started work on our
project and they were all glowing. Feel free to email me if you
want more info.
The general contractor that I worked with is a licensed tiler
too and he does a really good job and fast. I had a really
pleasant experience with him. His name is Constantin with C G
Builders and you can contact him at 510-305-5680 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Constantin did a very good job at my house. He is a general
contractor and also a licensed tile contractor so he knows what
he is doing and he works fast and clean. His company is C G
Builders and you can contact him at 510-305-5680 or at
Do not walk, RUN to the phone and call Gelu Ilie: 510-506-5073.
Seriously, he is fantastic. During a major restoration project
our kitchen had to be torn apart to repair some structural
problems with the walls & floor. Gelu was able to match his tile
work so well with the previous work that it is virtually
impossible to tell the difference. This was a major achievement
as the floor was very uneven and the angles of the room were not
true. Following this experience he installed a very beautiful,
complex pattern on our exterior upper deck. He helped us to
select a quality product for this purpose, and lent his expertise
to our design choices. Gelu was also so kind as to repair our
kitchen counter after a deliveryman broke the edge tiles while
delivering our new stove, without charging us. Imagine that! Gelu
is creative, reliable, experienced and very fast. We recommend
him without reservation. Check out his website:
www.gelu-construction.com or reach him at: 510-506-5073.
Janelle & Tim
Can you recommend anyone for tiling my bathroom floor?
A few years ago we had a second bathroom built which included a
tile floor and tile walls. We used Cathy Raingarden (Raingarden
Tile and Design at 510-665-4304 or 206-6481). We are extremely
happy with the quality of the work, which looks great almost 3
years later. Cathy has years of experience laying tile, and it
showed - she was extremely organized and logical in carrying out
the work and completing it on time, all for a very reasonable price.
I recently had everything in my bathroom replaced including
retiling the floor and the tub/shower. Gelu Ilie did a terrific
job, and I would hire him again. His web site is http://www.gelu-
construction.com and e-mail email@example.com. Sandy
I am looking for a bathroom tile contractor for a shower &
shower pan- just shower or also plumbing, wall fixing...
Our experience with Phylece Snyder of Snyder Tile Company has
been successful every way. Our major house remodel involved many,
many contractors, across all the trades. Working with Phylece was
a joy - not something we can say about many other individuals or
teams we worked with. Her work is superb (spoken by a
perfectionist - not said lightly) in both planning and execution,
she's patient and attentive, allows her clients the space and
freedom to work out aesthetic and design issues asthe project
progresses, and delivers tremendous value for the money you will
Snyder Tile Company
Lic. # 720265
We want to install a tile floor in our bathroom. We currently
have carpet over subflooring. So any experience with installing tile floors - great
tilesetters to do it, and best places to purchase tile - would
be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I've recommended a dear friend and excellent tiler once before
here, but I think I'll do it again. His name and number: Andres
Jara, 510-693-0007. His work is exemplary, and his prices are
still (I hope) reasonable. He is really a love, and he's a
perfectionist. The downside of that, predictably, is that he may
take longer than he estimates. Not always, but it has happened.
He generally charges for labor only, and gives his best estimate
for materials cost, but adjust accordingly if you are looking at
very high end stone or tile. He grew up in Chile, but his English
Re: Bathroom remodel
If you are having ANY tile or stone work done in your
bathroom, I can highly recommend Nicole from Ascension
Tile. Here is her email address and phone #. Bashezo Nicole
Boyd [ascension22[at]hotmail.com]. 510.469.6252
Her work was very professional and meticulous. She is
reliable, hardworking and creative. She and her helper were
always courteous and friendly to our two curious little
boys. They always consulted us when necessary and they even
did a great job cleaning up at the end of each day. They
worked in our new bathroom by tiling the floor, walls and
around a window. They also installed a marble floor. It looks
awesome! We couldn't be happier with our choice. I could
email you a photo of our bathroom, if you are interested.
I want to recommend Posch Tile (510-932-5895) for laying tile. They did our very
complex bathroom tile job efficiently and beautifully. They were polite and a
to work with as well as affordable. They did a great job with our complex design
layout and our handmade irregular tile!
Oliver Posch is the owner and is great to work with. Feel free to contact me should
want to see pix of the bathroom job or with other questions
Our fireplace face and hearth were prepped for tile years ago.
We intended to do the finish work ourselves but...well, you know
how it goes. Two children later we still have concrete and
metal. At this point, we need someone to (1) put the detail
touches on the design -- for which we have a concept and did
pick out some tile, but that was long enough ago now that we
don't know the same stuff will still be available -- and help us
order the right quantities; and (2)install the tile.
Experience with Arts & Crafts style handmade ceramic tiles would
be great but mostly we want someone meticulous and responsive
who will do this smallish project well. The recommendations on
the website are kinda old. Anyone hire a great tile person
My perfectionist tile guy is Andres Jara. He has done a great
deal of work (not just tile) for me and various friends and
acquaintances. In particular, he has tiled my kitchen counters,
backsplashes, several bathroom floors, bathtub enclosures, front
porch and steps, the list goes on. He does beautiful miters when
appropriate (when other tilers would just abut tiles). He has
also done a lovely limestone slab fireplace surround and hearth
with wood mantel for a client of mine. Not exactly tile, but
great work nonetheless. He's from Chile and his English is
excellent. His *time* estimates are on the optimistic side; I've
been more relaxed when I've mentally added about 30% over his
Not a licensed contractor though, if that is a concern.
He used to be unreasonably inexpensive. Over the years I've used
him he has gradually upgraded to a range from inexpensive to
reasonable. When his prices go up to what he pretty obviously
deserves I'll still recommend him wholeheartedly, but I'll
selfishly be sad. His info: Andres Jara 510 693-0007. (if you
would like to contact me email me at lap @ gmoregdonuts.com but
remove the G's from the address before you send.
Tim Eriste has done several tile jobs for me over the past year
and I have always been exceptionally pleased with his work. He
is prompt, efficient, clean and always has great ideas and input
if he thinks we should modify a job. I highly suggest you give
him a call, he works all over the bay area. For the quality of
work you receive, his prices are very reasonable.
His phone # is (617)823-6371. Christina
I want to post a recommendation for people who need tile
installation in their bathroom or kitchen:
Mike Rudd does great work at very reasonable prices. I highly
recommend him - he is fair, honest and trustworthy to boot. Please
contact me with questions...
His contact info is:
We recently had Ron van Leeuwaarde re-tile one wall of our bathroom (above the tub/shower) after we had our plumbing replaced. I don't know how his cost compares to other tilers, but he charged (if I recall correctly) $40 per hour. He did a great job on a challenging project -- he had to line up the new tiles with the existing tiles that were a fraction of an inch larger. He communicated well with us and accommodated our shifting schedule. He is a really nice guy, too.
Ron van Leeuwaarde (The Flying Dutchman), 848-6996
Hi - we hired Nicole Boyd of ASCENSION TILE AND STONE to do both of our bathrooms and our kitchen back-splash. We LOVED her work and I would call her again for any other tile work. In the bathrooms, she laid stone tiles on the floor and did the shower stall in one and the bathtub in the other. In the bathroom with the shower stall, she also created the shower pan because it was an odd size. We have an old house with quirky floors and walls but she was able to work with them and do a great job. She is extremely professional, easy to work with, artistic, etc. She gave us some great ideas and suggestions that we would not have even thought of. I'd be happy to email you some pictures of the work we had done if you'd like. She can be reached by email or VM - 510.469.6252 or ascension22 AT hotmail.com
We can't say enough about Deborah Buckley, whom we hired to install our antique marble tile floor and marble and glass mosaic backsplash in our recently remodeled kitchen. She is really helpful in all aspects, from ordering materials (without a lot of excess), to helping with grout colors & sealants, to accomodating special requests. She works out of the City of Paris Studios in Oakland and can be reached at 655-5454. Good luck!
proud owner of a gorgeous kitchen
I searched for a while to find a good tile guy. I was given Rafael's name by a contractor friend and Rafael was amazing. As hard as I looked, I thought I should make it easier for the next person. He is skilled, polite, considerate, on time and affordable, or was (he has his license now). He did my bathroom, including the floor, three walls around my shower, a niche in the shower and a tile apron for the tub all in a week and all for about 3K. He floated everything, including the walls, the sign of a true pro. I would strongly recommend him for any tile job. His name is Rafael and his cell number is: 415-793-5014. I would be happy to show you pics if you'd like to see his work up close.
We recently sold our house and wanted to make the front entrance
a WOW!. We picked out tile at Import Tile (in Berkeley) and
they were incredibly kind enough to make contact with a tiler
(as we had had zero success getting anyone with short notice).
We used Aesthetics and they did an incredible job.
I cannot recommend Jim Zwaal highly enough. He does
excellent work at an affordable price, works with you to
get the look you want and will also let you do legwork (if
you desire) to cut down on the cost. He is an independent
contractor, so he can get quite busy. Once he begins the
project however, he is very good about getting it done ON
TIME, even if he needs to come in extra days, weekends,
etc. Jim can be reached at his home number: 652-8258
I am currently tiling a bathroom and the young man who is
doing it is wonderful and very reasonably priced. $12.00/Sq feet for the floors and 11 for the walls. He is
very reliable. Depending on the project, you may get a
lower price. He is not licenced but he is REALLY talented.
I live in Crocker Highlands if you want to visit and see
his work please feel to send my an e-mail and we can
arrange for that.
I highly recommend Kathleen Curry. She did a wonderful
job on the tile work in the bathroom that we put in during
our remodel in last year. She was reasonably priced and
pleasant to work with. She was a building contractor for
20 years before she became a tile setter, so she knows all
the ins and outs of a remodel. She worked with us in an
often awkward situation, as we sub-contracted the work
ourselves and she had to fix some of the initial carpentry
work in preparation for the job. She handled the whole
thing with grace and aplomb. Her number is 510-528-1219.
By the way, do be careful about where you purchase tile.
We initially ordered ours from at Home Expo. They did not
advise us correctly on how much to buy, kept calling us
out to the Emeryville store to pick up more tile that was
supposed to be there when it wasn't and then finally sent
us home with a lot of unusable, broken tile. Kathleen was
able to find us additional tile through another
distributor at the last minute, thus averting disaster
(without it, it would have held up our project by another
3 weeks). In retrospect, we should have gone with one of
the two tile shops in Berkeley we had purchased from in
the past (there is one on Harrison and one on Hearst--not
related to one another). We had good experiences with
both of them.
Anyway, I can't recommend Kathleen enough.
We recently had the unpleasant experience of discovering
we had a shower pan leak (resulted in water leaking into
our living room). After extensive searching for a
qualified, experienced, and personable contractor, we were
lucky enough to find Jim Zwaal (510) 654-0654. Jim not
only did a fantastic job replacing our shower pan, he also
did masterful work helping us choose and design
replacement tilework for the floor of the shower. He
worked with us to save costs, where we could and was
professional, personable, and did the project quicker than
expected (coming in on a Sunday so we could have our
shower back Monday morning). I HIGHLY recommend Jim,
without reservations. Feel free to contact me if you have
Can anyone recommend someone to install floor tile in a new bathroom?
I have picked out the tile that I would like to use but need someone who can
install it, seal it and give me tips on taking care of it.
Any advice or leads would be appreciated,
I hate to use this forum to plug my husband's company, but I wanted
to respond to your search for a tile installer. My husband started
Albert Tile & Marble (lic. #699890) over ten years ago. He still
does most of the work himself. Most of his clients love working
with him because he is great at communicating, and his customers
end up knowing more about tile installation just from his estimates.
It goes without saying that his work is excellent (most of his clients
tend to reside in Oakland & Berkeley Hills, a lot of high-end homes
where the material for installation is expensive), and he tends to
get the job done in less time than he originally estimates for the
client. Prior to starting his company, he worked in general construction,
thus his knowledge extends beyond the area to be tiled - he sees the
If you would like to arrange an estimate, feel free to call his office
(510) 225-8664 - there is usually someone in the office from 10:00am.
I highly recommend Debra Buckley. She did an amazing job on our two
bathrooms. Her number is 658-0798.
I can recommend Karen of Sun Set Tile (510) 419-0449
She recently retiled my bathroom walls and floor
and did an excellent job
We just had the tile replaced on the floor of our bathroom and can highly
recommend our contractors from Sonoma Custom Tile (415-456-5577 ask
for Rick). I don't know whether they work in the East Bay, but Mike from
Sonoma Custom Tile did a fantastic job. I was especially impressed since
they were one of the few contractors to even return my phone calls this
summer, and they were very patient with our many questions about tile style,
size, color, mortar base, etc. Our bathroom is quite small, so it wasn't
a big job for them, but they gave it the same attention as their big jobs
(at least I felt like they did). Their estimate was right in line with the
one other we could get, so I think price was reasonable. Good luck!
Retail or website that sells retro tile?
I have an old bathroom with fantastic foam green tile. The trim tile was a very
popular design used in the 20s. We will be expanding this bathroom next year,
and I'd like to find tile to match what is there now - it's very retro! I'm having
hard time finding stores or websites that carry retro tile, or reproductions. Can
anyone point me in the right direction?
Love my foam green bathroom
Art Tile on Broadway near 45th Street in Oakland has an
amazing selection of retro tile. You might also be able to
find it at Import Tile in Berkeley on Hearst just off of I-80.
I did a retro bath remodel myself, so I know the joys of
searching for old tile.
Here's a link that promises repro tile in colors from the
20s-50s. Since they are a manufacturer, they may even be
able to custom match your color. Click the B&W Tile link on
this page. I don't see their colors on their site, but you
can call or email them:
Here's another that sells reproduction tile. Not sure of the
age of your bath. See bath 11 on this page for a seafoam
They also make to order.
There used to be a place in San Francisco. Sorry I don't remember the name, but
it is exactly what you're looking for. You should be able to find it.
Decorium Tile and Stone in San Leandro
While selecting limestone decorative tile for a bathroom
remodel, I came across Decorium Tile and Stone in San Leandro.
They had the tile I was looking for at a very good price.
When I picked the tile up, the owner had shorted me about 22
pieces. Instead of telling me this, he led me to believe that
the entire order was being given to me. I did not find out
that I had been sold short until my tiler was half way done
with my bathroom. When I contacted the owner he said that he
knew he owed me tile and would get me the balance in a few
For the next several weeks, he told me he was trying to locate
more tiles. He would continue to tell me that he had ''ordered
them but they were never delivered'', or that ''when they arrived
they were damaged''. Piece by piece, I finally had all but 7
tiles but needed the rest to complete my job or face ripping
the entire bathroom out and finding a new tile/company.
The last straw was when the owner finally told me that he had
the last 7 that I needed. When I came to pick them up, they
were wrapped very tightly in cellophane (presumably so that I
wouldn't open them up until I got home). Fortunately, I opened
them at the store only to find that each of the seven pieces
had been old broken pieces that he had tried to glue back
together (and not very well I might add!).
I finally got my tiles after pitching a huge scene in the
store -- even still, they were a slightly different color.
Seeking recommendations for ceramic tiles
Looking for recommendations for ceramic tile dealers. We
plan to install the tile ourselves on our kitchen counter
and backsplash. I've checked out Import Tile and Art Tiles,
but would like to broaden my search. Other dealers you've
worked with? Thanks!
I recently bought tile to redo my bathroom and got it
from Euro Marble & Granite in San Leandro, tel.no.
614-1790. They were very knowledgeable and gave me
great advice on how to get the look I wanted. I highly
Drive over the Richmond Bridge to San Rafael -- there are
several tile stores just off 580, a couple on Francisco
Blvd (the frontage road) on the south side of the freeway
and a couple others on the north on side streets. You can
look up addresses in the (paper or online) yellow pages. Although we didn't end up buying anything (yet), having
several showrooms near each other made it easy to 'do the
rounds' there, and we found some unique things and got
especially good service at Tile & Stone on E. Francisco.
Needs a fireplace facelift
Names of places to purchase floor and wall tiles for a bathroom and
kitchen. I already know of Import Tile and Art and Tile but am looking for
more choices. Thanks. Sue
Daltile has a nice line of pretty pasic ceramic tiles in good colors and in
different sizes. You can call a rep for Daltile directly - 925/356-2323.
We have recently inclosed a window that was in our shower
and have been unable to match the existing tile. We have no
choice but to replace the all of the shower tile. I have
checked the archives and there has been no recent postings
since 2000. Can anyone recommend a quality tile installer
who will not charge us an arm and a leg? Thank you.
I read the post about being unable to find matching tile.
Have you checked Art Tile on Broadway in Oakland. A few
years ago I was trying to replace tile in a counter top in
our kitchen. Four different places told me there was no
way to match it and I had to start over. I went to Art
Tile and the 2 guys at the counter took one look at the
tile, went behind the counter for their sample books and
within 5 minutes pulled up a great match. I was amazed,
and they were great to work with- ordered the tile, helped
load it in the car, gave me advice, and could probably have
recommended a good tile setter if I had needed one.
Where to Buy Slate Tiles
We are planning to remove a window seat from a sunroom, only to find that
the flooring beneath hasn't been finished out. The room is finished with 8x8
slate tile, which doesn't seem to exist anywhere or requires an unbelievably
long time to order. We've tried all the usual outlets but can't seem to make
any headway. Does anyone know where I might be able to find some? I only
need about 3-4 dozen tiles.
I'm researching the color name (Import Tile had African something that
was close but too dark). These tiles are medium darkish gray-green with
orange/brownish/greenish and come in multi-colored lots. Any suggestions are
appreciated. Thank you! Cindy
Check out: American Soil Products 3rd and Bancroft in Berkeley:
Need an efficient way to clean tile floors
Our home is all tiles, and I'm trying to figure out an efficient way to keep the
place basically clean. I do things the ''old fashioned'' way. I sweep with a
broom and dust pan, then mop, changing the water frequently. My partner
keeps coming home with other tools to try to make things easier. The smell
of the swiffer bothers me, the cloth dust sweeper seems hard to clean. I
kind of like the idea of a steam cleaner, but will I still need to sweep? I'm
looking for cleaning tips!
Too much tile
Get a scooba from iRobot. Like a roomba, but for wet cleaning.
Need a good floor cleaner for tiles
We're looking for a good floor cleaner for a tile floor.
We've tried a floor scrubber and a floor steamer and they
got the floors somewhat clean but didn't get the stains off.
If you've got anything you've used that worked really well,
we'd love to hear about it. Thanks! anon
Try oxyclean. I've used it on dirty grout on our floors. I
leave it in for 30 minutes an little by little the stains
fade. Many tile floors
Mold in shower--how to keep grout clean?
I moved to the Bay Area ten years ago after living in Europe
and Asia all my life and there is something about the mold
here that really puzzles me. Whenever I have moved into a
home, the grout and sealant in the shower stalls looks
spotless. Over time, mold grows and does not go away despite
regular cleaning and numerous special attempts to remove it
with every kind of bathroom cleaner on the market. I am
green-minded and prefer to use ''ecofriendly'' cleaners, but
have used Scrubbing Bubbles and other toxic brands to no
avail. I also have tried plain bleach, soda, vinegar. How
the heck do professional cleaners keep grout looking clean?
Do they use some kind of cleaner that's not available in the
I now see black mold appearing UNDER the silicon sealant at
the shower edges. What do I do?
Mystified by Bay Area mold
A couple thoughts on mold in showers. Silicone caulk does
not support the growth of mold so the caulk you have is
likely latex which readily supports mold growth-so does
''siliconized'' caulk. Cut it all out with a razor knife and
re-caulk with 100% silicone caulk. Another trick I have seen
a couple times is the use of cheap latex caulk over tile
grout to seal leaky tile walls. The caulk quickly molds and
is just about impossible to remove. An easy way to kill mold
is with bleach. Mix a solution with water in a spray bottle
and soak the whole shower overnight to kill existing mold.
Next scratch all grout lines with a grout tool and re-grout
or at least apply grout sealer. The grout must be new or
super clean to apply sealer so it must be scratched or
etched with acid first. Tilex daily Fresh Shower works great
to keep tile clean but has fumes. A powerful steam exhaust
fan is critical to keeping mold at bay. Most showers do not
have an adequate fan and thus promote the growth of mold via
clean shower nut
I can recommend the Clorox Bleach Pen. It's like a fat
marker and lets you apply a paste of bleach in a thin line,
just right for the grout between tiles. You might need to
leave it on for an hour or two and then rinse it off, if you
have a lot of mildew. I keep a bleach pen in the shower so
if I happen to notice a streak of black while I'm showering
I can take care of it right away.
I'm not sure your mold problem is special to the Bay Area.
Any shower in the whole world will grow mold if you let it.
The more likely problem is that your bathtub needs more
ventilation. Moreover, if there was mold growing on the
grout and someone grouted over the old mold, then you'll
keep getting mold growing. The only way (I'm told) to get
rid of the mold is to scrape off the grout and redo it.
I am too lazy to scrape off the grout and I have a bathroom
with very poor ventilation, so every 2 weeks or so I see
mold spots forming on the edge of the bathtub where it meets
the tile. I take everything out of the tub, wipe the edge
down with a towel, and spray with Lysol Mold and Mildew
Remover. I wait an hour, then shower everything down. Be
careful not to get it on yourself or on the towels, as there
is bleach in there.
Yes you can just use bleach as well, but I just buy the
Lysol as I feel I'm sort of cleaning the bathtub while I'm
at it, and it comes with a handy spray. (As I said, I'm lazy.)
As for the mold that's under the silicon sealant, that
cannot be treated with bleach. You need to rip off the
silicon, kill the mold, and reapply.
Also be sure to air out your shower very well after use.
How to clean a ceramic tile floor?
OK, I give up. I have a big sunny kitchen (hurray) floored
with dark red tiles of the type you might see in Mexico. I
associate them with Mexico anyway. But I can't seem to get
this floor clean. I vacuum, then mop with detergent, but it
never really feels clean to me. Any products or methods you
can recommend? trying for a clean floor
I use a Eureka Steam Mop on our ceramic tile floor:
First I vacuum, then use the steam mop. It works like magic.
If there is something stuck to the floor, just leave the mop
in one place for about 10 seconds (not longer than 15 say
the instructions to make sure you don't overheat the tile)
and it will come off.
I carry an old toothbrush with me to get into the grout
lines and to loosen any really stubborn gunk.
The best part is the floor is dry quickly and there is no
dirty mop water to clean up. After it cools down, you put
the steam pad in the washing machine and dryer.
Cleaning tile & grout in shower
Does anyone know of a product that will get white tile and grout
in shower white again?? Any suggestions of how to keep this
white tile and grout clean?
I use diluted bleach (I'm not sure, but something like 4 parts
hot water to one part bleach.) applied with an old toothbrush. I
let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
When we moved into our house the grout in our kitchen and
bathroom was almost black. We sprayed bleach let it soak and
then scrubbed with a brush... it came out slightly grey but
better than it was. We tried various cleansing products and they
seemed to work ok, but not much better... and the smells were
pretty noxious. We were thinking that replacing and resealing
the grout would be the only way to get it clean. Recently we
tried Simple Green (straight, not diluted at all) and found that
it worked the best, with the least odor. I am guessing that we
will need to periodically do this soak and scrub method to keep
We have tile floors in our house everywhere but the bedrooms. We
currently have a canister vac that we use but are unhappy with so we're
looking for a new hard surface vacuum. Our house is small, about 1300 Sq
ft of tile that we need to vacuum. As we're shopping for one, we're
finding that we know nothing about what to look for! We saw a few small
ones that were recharable (therefore cordless) that looked pretty cool
but I worry about whether they would have enough power for the whole
house. Anyone have any recommendations of vacuums to check out or have
any imput on what to look for? Thanks so much!
No more dust bunnies!
I would see if you can get an older model (like the Flameco II, my
personal fave), and get an old-school rug/floor combo tool (readily
available on Ebay; I checked). It has a foot pedal to switch
functions--it's not motorized, nor does it have that annoying turbo thing,
which doesn't really work, and yet gets gunked up easily. But, because the
Miele has awesome suction, you don't need the motorization. I run a
housecleaning service, and this vac, with this tool, works sooooo well. I
have three of them.
We have mostly tile floors and love the Roomba robotic vac. It is a
rechargable that runs by itself. We have a dog that sheds constantly and
we run it every day. It does a great job. Easy to clean out. Leaves time
to do something else while it is running. Most of the regular vacs we
tried on the tile tend to blow small dust around rather than suck it up.
this page was last updated: May 27, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network