A Pile of Tile

by Roger

The TileMeister by A Pile of TileLook at this. Just take a good look at it. Click on it for a bigger version if you want.

That’s not wood.

That’s tile.

That’s cool. 8)

That’s so cool my dog just burst into flames.

And now I’m kinda pissy-pants because I had to pour my beer Pepsi on him to put his sorry ‘Oh-crap-I’m-engulfed-in-flames-again’ ass out.


Where was I? Oh yeah, the tile. That is a mural created by a tile ninja by the name of Marc from A Pile of Tile. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be him or not but if it is he’s in a bit of denial about the amount of hair he currently sports.

Just sayin’.

Lucky for you he does not have the hindrance of the whole ‘hair got in my eyes while I was cuttin’ your tile’ excuse I’m so fond of using. And if you ever actually see me or a picture of my head you’ll know I’m full of shit too.

Just get a hold of Marc using one of the 72 ways at the bottom of this post he sent me for you to contact him, and you too can turn that work of art you scribbled on that bar napkin into an everlasting tile and stone mural with which to impress women, amaze friends, and make the current caretakers of the Taj Mahal jealous. All that from a little bar napkin! Marc’s a talented guy.

So here’s what Marc can do – he takes the picture of you and that ‘woman’ your buddy snapped at the bar at 2am the other morning and turns it into a tile mural. Now, just to cover Marc’s ass here a little bit – yes, the ‘woman’ in the mural has a mustache. Look closely at that photo when you sober up. It’s not his fault.

Now if I happen to be your buddy that snapped that picture – you’re screwed. See, I know what a talented guy Marc is. I’ll send him that photo and a blank check faster than you can say ‘crying game’ and blackmail your ass for eternity. In fact I’d probably just forego the whole blackmail thing and install it on the front porch of your future ex-wife’s house.

With epoxy.

Which means it will never be removed.


‘Cause I’m a tile guy and I know how that shit works.

Or, here’s a more pleasant scenario if you’re like me and only drink when the sun goes down Pepsi. Say you have that favorite childhood/vacation/car/boat/lake photo. Shoot Marc a copy of that and let him work his magic. Then you can have that as a permanent reminder of the better times of your life. You know – when you weren’t sitting around in the middle of the afternoon in your boxers reading a tile blog while you bullshit your wife into thinking you’re doing ‘research’ on that shower you promised to tile seven months ago.

Or just tell him what you want. Call him up and say ‘hey, make me a platypus out of travertine’ and he’ll do it! He’s not a smart ass like me. He won’t say ‘POOF! You’re a platypus out of travertine.’ He’ll actually make one for you.

On a side note: I never thought I would use the phrase ‘platypus out of travertine’, let alone twice in one paragraph. And once more in the paragraph after that.

One of the coolest things about Marc’s murals is that he doesn’t use one of those fancy-ass cnc machines to cut the tile shapes – he does it all by hand. I think he uses a light saber but you’ll have to verify that with him. That’s talent right there – light saber or not!

Now, if you regularly read my blog you know I don’t promote, well, anything. Ever. I don’t have three million ads in your face. I don’t make you wade through countless pop-ups to get your information. I don’t even ask for donations to my beer Pepsi fund.

The only thing on this site that comes close to selling are the specific tile products I use which just so happen to be top of the line. If you don’t use them – so be it. So believe me when I tell you that something is worth buying you should damn well look into it. And no – I don’t get one red cent or a bottle of scotch case of Pepsi if you buy his stuff. It’s not that he’s a cheap bastard (he is – but that has nothing to do with it) it’s just that I think his stuff excellent.

Marc’s stuff is worth buying. In fact, the next time my dog bursts into flames I’m gonna take a picture and have a mural made. I’ll bet he’s never done a flaming dog before.

If you need a kick-ass, most awesome-ist, coolest pieces of tile on the face of the planet (and everyone needs at least one – just sayin’) get a hold of Marc. Seriously, call him at 970-712-8525. Or call him at 303-736-9845.  Or email him at Marc@APileofTile.com. Or send up smoke signals from your dog’s back – he just burst into flames. Again.

Tell him what you want and then try really hard not to sit by your mailbox in unfettered anticipation. And DO NOT stalk the UPS guy! (again)

You can click on any of the photos for a full-size version of Marc’s awesomeness. And yeah, its tile. The same stuff you’re supposed to be installing in your shower right now.

Go put your dog out. Better yet – take a picture and send it to Marc.

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First things first – Your blog has me in stitches !!!! :lol1:
I have a question that was quite possibly asked before – if that is the case, my advance apologies.
We are getting ready to install travertine in our entire oceanfront condo (high humidity, sand, wet feet, high rise building with concrete subfloors). Part of the condo has carpet (bedrooms), part was originally tiled and possibly re-tiled (living / dining and kitchen and of course all bathrooms). Pretty sure all tile was installed directly over the concrete floor, as some of the areas sound hollow. The current tiles must go – the era of wavy white tile and 1/4 inch grout lines has long passed.
The question is: when we remove the old tile, how much scraping needs to happen to remove the old thinset (or whatever was used when installed) I am concerned about the potential height difference between the areas that were carpeted and the areas that were tiled once the old tile is removed, and if there is anything that I learned from your blog is that a proper installation has to have a flat starting surface.
It is a very open floorplan (kitchen/living/dining is one big 1100 sqft area), we are planning on using Ditra but not sure about what to use as sound barrier (required nowadays in highrises), and .. oh yeah – his is our first time installing floor tile. Are we crazy for thinking about 2200+ sqft DIY ?

Thanks for putting the blog together, and for all the time you are taking to answer everybody’s questions !



Hi Cristina,

Using ditra it needs to be down to at most a 1/16″ – 1/8″ of old thinset left on the substrate. You can flatten the ditra out over that as you install it. There are several ways to soundproof it, the easiest being the use of something like Laticrete 170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat rather than ditra.

You’re not crazy, just ambitious. :D



Any tips for making an arch with travertine ogee 1 chair rail? Is there some kind of equation or something for your cuts? Thank again…and again!



Hi Laurie,

Remember all those people who told you that you would never use geometry in real life? They were full of shit. :D

If it is a 180 degree arc (like at the top of a wall with even ends) then figure out the span of space on that arch you can reasonably place a straight piece of the tile or ogee that will cover both ends – how long the longest straight piece of tile you can place on the arch and still cover it. Once you do that figure out how many of those pieces you need to span the arch from end to end. Take that number, divide 180 by it, that will give you the total degree angle where two pieces meet. Divide that by two and that is the angle you cut on each end of each piece of ogee.

Did I just confuse the hell out of you? :D


Lynn Thompson

Don’t have a question at this time…just give me a moment or an hour or a day and I’ll come up with one. When I stumbled onto your blog (googling MAO for “how to clean grout”) and after reading some of it (more reading when I want info with humor AND expertise) and after getting up off the floor where I had fallen with a serious case of ROTFLMAO, I needed to send you this email to tell you…DON’T EVER STOP WRITING. You have a talent (sorry if I’m repeating what 100s of other people have observed) for answering questions with such humor that it will keep me coming back to your blog (?) whether I have tile problems or not. Just to give myself a lift at the beginning of each day. I DON’T have too much time on my hands, but I don’t want to miss anything you write about, therefore am checking the box below. :rockon:



Well Hi Lynn!

Glad you found my blog. I don’t know if it would qualify as a talent, setting tile is a talent. Being a smart ass is more a result of my wife forcing me to stop talking to her. Well, not completely, just not every time I have a smart ass remark. Her blood pressure has dropped since I began this site.

Weird, right?

If you sign up for TileTips you’ll get a regular jackassery update with every tip as well as periodic short stories about my antics including my renegade pet platypus, ostrich racing (apparently that’s a thing), and any other peculiar adventures that spill out of my brain at extremely inconsistent intervals.


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