Wall and floor tile used for interior and exterior decoration belongs to a class of ceramics known as whitewares. The production of tile dates back to ancient times and peoples, including the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians. For instance, the Step Pyramid for the Pharoah Djoser, built in ancient Egypt around 2600 B.C. , contained colorful glazed tile. Later, ceramic tile was manufactured in virtually every major European country and in the United States. By the beginning of the twentieth century, tile was manufactured on an industrial scale. The invention of the tunnel kiln around 1910 increased the automation of tile manufacture. Today, tile manufacture is highly automated.
The American National Standards Institute separates tiles into several classifications. Ceramic mosaic tile may be either porcelain or of natural clay composition of size less than 39 cm2 (6 in.2). Decorative wall tile is glazed tile with a thin body used for interior decoration of residential walls. Paver tile is glazed or unglazed porcelain or natural clay tile of size 39 cm2 (6 in.2) or more. Porcelain tile is ceramic mosaic tile or paver tile that is made by a certain method called dry pressing. Quarry tile is glazed or unglazed tile of the same size as paver tile, but made by a different forming method.
Europe, Latin America, and the Far East are the largest producers of tile, with Italy the leader at 16.6 million ft.2/day as of 1989. Following Italy (at 24.6 percent of the world market) are Spain (12.6 percent), Brazil and Germany (both at 11.2 percent), and the United States (4.5 percent). The total market for floor and wall tile in 1990 according to one estimate was $2.4 billion.
The United States has approximately 100 plants that manufacture ceramic tile, which shipped about 507 million ft.2 in 1990 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. imports, by volume, accounted for approximately 60 percent of consumption in 1990, valued at around $500 million. Italy accounts for almost half of all imports, with Mexico and Spain following. U.S. exports have seen some growth, from $12 million in 1988 to about $20 million in 1990.
Because the tile industry is a relatively mature market and dependent on the building industry, growth will be slow. The United States Department of Commerce estimates a three to four percent increase in tile consumption over the next five years. Another economic analysis predicts that 494 million ft.2 will be shipped in 1992, a growth of about 4 percent from the previous year. Some tile manufacturers are a bit more optimistic; an American Ceramic Society survey showed an average growth of around 36 percent per manufacturer over the next five years.
The raw materials used to form tile consist of clay minerals mined from the earth's crust, natural minerals such as feldspar that are used to lower the firing temperature, and chemical additives required for the shaping process. The minerals are often refined or beneficiated near the mine before shipment to the ceramic plant.
The raw materials must be pulverized and classified according to particle size. Primary crushers are used to reduce large lumps of material. Either a jaw crusher or gyratory crusher is used, which operate using a horizontal
The initial step in ceramic tile manufacture involves mixing the ingredients. Sometimes, water is then added and the ingredients are wet milled or ground in a ball mill. If wet milling is used, the excess water is removed using filter pressing followed by spray drying. The resulting powder is then pressed into the desired tile body shape.
Secondary crushing reduces smaller lumps to particles. Hammer or muller mills are often used. A muller mill uses steel wheels in a shallow rotating pan, while a hammer mill uses rapidly moving steel hammers to crush the material. Roller or cone type crushers can also be used.
A third particle size reduction step may be necessary. Tumbling types of mills are used in combination with grinding media. One of the most common types of such mills is the ball mill, which consists of large rotating cylinders partially filled with spherical grinding media.
Screens are used to separate out particles in a specific size range. They operate in a sloped position and are vibrated mechanically or electromechanically to improve material flow. Screens are classified according to mesh number, which is the number of openings per lineal inch of screen surface. The higher the mesh number, the smaller the opening size.
A glaze is a glass material designed to melt onto the surface of the tile during firing, and which then adheres to the tile surface during cooling. Glazes are used to provide moisture resistance and decoration, as they can be colored or can produce special textures.
Once the raw materials are processed, a number of steps take place to obtain the finished product. These steps include batching, mixing and grinding, spray-drying, forming, drying, glazing, and firing. Many of these steps are now accomplished using automated equipment.
Mixing and grinding
Sometimes it is necessary to add water to improve the mixing of a multiple-ingredient batch as well as to achieve fine grinding. This process is called wet milling and is often performed using a ball mill. The resulting water-filled mixture is called a slurry or slip. The water is then removed from the slurry by filter pressing (which removes 40-50 percent of the moisture), followed by dry milling.
Tile bodies can also be prepared by dry grinding followed by granulation. Granulation uses a machine in which the mixture of previously dry-ground material is mixed with water in order to form the particles into granules, which again form a powder ready for forming.
Another process, called pressure glazing, has recently been developed. This process combines glazing and shaping simultaneously by pressing the glaze (in spray-dried powder form) directly in the die filled with the tile body powder. Advantages include the elimination of glazing lines, as well as the glazing waste material (called sludge) that is produced with the conventional method.
Dry glazing is also being used. This involves the application of powders, crushed frits (glass materials), and granulated glazes onto a wet-glazed tile surface. After firing, the glaze particles melt into each other to produce a surface like granite.
For tile that only requires a single firing—usually tile that is prepared by wet milling—roller kilns are generally used. These kilns move the wares on a roller conveyor and do not require kiln furnitures such as batts or saggers. Firing times in roller kilns can be as low as 60 minutes, with firing temperatures around 2,102 degrees Fahrenheit (1,150 degrees Celsius) or more.
A variety of pollutants are generated during the various manufacturing steps; these emissions must be controlled to meet air control standards. Among the pollutants produced in tile manufacture are fluorine and lead compounds, which are produced during firing and glazing. Lead compounds have been significantly reduced with the recent development of no-lead or low-lead glazes. Fluorine emissions can be controlled with scrubbers, devices that basically spray the gases with water to remove harmful pollutants. They can also be controlled with dry processes, such as fabric filters coated with lime. This lime can then be recycled as a raw material for future tile.
The tile industry is also developing processes to recycle wastewater and sludge produced during milling, glazing, and spray-drying. Already some plants recycle the excess powder generated during dry-pressing as well as the overspray produced during glazing. Waste glaze and rejected tile are also returned to the body preparation process for reuse.
Most tile manufacturers now use statistical process control (SPC) for each step of the manufacturing process. Many also work closely with their raw material suppliers to ensure that specifications are met before the material is used. Statistical process control consists of charts that are used to monitor various processing parameters, such as particle size, milling time, drying temperature and time, compaction pressure, dimensions after pressing, density, firing temperature and time, and the like. These charts identify problems with equipment, out of spec conditions, and help to improve yields before the final product is finished.
The final product must meet certain specifications regarding physical and chemical properties. These properties are determined by standard tests established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Properties measured include mechanical strength, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, water absorption, dimensional stability, frost resistance, and linear coefficient of thermal expansion. More recently, the slip resistance, which can be determined by measuring the coefficient of friction, has become a concern. However, no standard has yet been established because other factors (such as proper floor design and care) can make results meaningless.
In order to maintain market growth, tile manufacturers will concentrate on developing and promoting new tile products, including modular or cladding tile, larger-sized tile, slip- and abrasion-resistant tile, and tile with a polished, granite or marble finish. This is being accomplished through the development of different body formulations, new glazes, and glaze applications, and by new and improved processing equipment and techniques. Automation will continue to play an important role in an effort to increase production, lower costs, and improve quality. In addition, changes in production technology due to environmental and energy resource issues will continue.
Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Ceramic-Tile.html#ixzz4j65Lb0kg
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom.
The term porcelain refers to a wide range of ceramic products that have been baked at high temperatures to achieve vitreous, or glassy, qualities such as translucence and low porosity. Among the most familiar porcelain goods are table and decorative china, chemical ware, dental crowns, and electrical insulators. Usually white or off-white, porcelain comes in both glazed and unglazed varieties, with bisque, fired at a high temperature, representing the most popular unglazed variety.
Although porcelain is frequently used as a synonym for china, the two are not identical. They resemble one another in that both are vitreous wares of extremely low porosity, and both can be glazed or unglazed. However, china, also known as soft-paste or tender porcelain, is softer: it can be cut with a file, while porcelain cannot. This difference is due to the higher temperatures at which true porcelain is fired, 2,650 degrees Fahrenheit (1,454 degrees Celsius) compared to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit (1,204 degrees Celsius) for china. Due to its greater hardness, porcelain has some medical and industrial applications which china, limited to domestic and artistic use, does not. Moreover, whereas porcelain is always translucent, china is opaque.
Hard-paste or "true" porcelain originated in China during the T'ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.); however, high quality porcelain comparable to modern wares did not develop until the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368 A.D.). Early Chinese porcelain consisted of kaolin (china clay) and pegmatite, a coarse type of granite. Porcelain was unknown to European potters prior to the importation of Chinese wares during the Middle Ages. Europeans tried to duplicate Chinese porcelain, but, unable to analyze its chemical composition, they could imitate only its appearance. After mixing glass with tin oxide to render it opaque, European craftspeople tried combining clay and ground glass. These alternatives became known as soft-paste, glassy, or artificial porcelains. However, because they were softer than genuine porcelain, as well as expensive to produce, efforts to develop true porcelain continued. In 1707 two Germans named Ehrenfried Walter von Tschimhaus and Johann Friedrich Bottger succeeded by combining clay with ground feldspar instead of the ground glass previously used.
Later in the eighteenth century the English further improved upon the recipe for porcelain when they invented bone china by adding ash from cattle bones to clay, feldspar, and quartz. Although bone china is fired at lower temperatures than true porcelain, the bone ash enables it to become translucent nonetheless. Because it is also easier to make, harder to chip, and stronger than hard porcelain, bone china has become the most popular type of porcelain in the United States and Britain (European consumers continue to favor hard porcelain).
The primary components of porcelain are clays, feldspar or flint, and silica, all characterized by small particle size. To create different types of porcelain, craftspeople combine these raw materials in varying proportions until they obtain the desired green (unfired) and fired properties.
Although the composition of clay varies depending upon where it is extracted and how it is treated, all clays vitrify (develop glassy qualities), only at extremely high temperatures unless they are mixed with materials whose vitrification threshold is lower. Unlike glass, however, clay is refractory, meaning that it holds its shape when it is heated. In effect, porcelain combines glass's low porosity with clay's ability to retain its shape when heated, making it both easy to form and ideal for domestic use. The principal clays used to make porcelain are china clay and ball clay, which consist mostly of kaolinate, a hydrous aluminum silicate.
Feldspar, a mineral comprising mostly aluminum silicate, and flint, a type of hard quartz, function as fluxes in the porcelain body or mixture. Fluxes reduce the temperature at which liquid glass forms during firing to between 1,835 and 2,375 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 and 1,300 degrees Celsius). This liquid phase binds the grains of the body together.
Silica is a compound of oxygen and silicon, the two most abundant elements in the earth's crust. Its resemblance to glass is visible in quartz (its crystalline form), opal (its amorphous form), and sand (its impure form). Silica is the most common filler used to facilitate forming and firing of the body, as well as to improve the properties of the finished product. Porcelain may also contain alumina, a compound of aluminum and oxygen, or low-alkali containing bodies, such as steatite, better known as soapstone.
To make porcelain, the raw materials—such as clay, felspar, and silica—are first crushed using jaw crushers, hammer mills, and ball mills. After cleaning to remove improperly sized materials, the mixture is subjected to one of four forming processes—soft plastic forming, stiff plastic forming, pressing, or casting—depending on the type of ware being produced. The ware then undergoes a preliminary firing step, bisque-firing.
ProcessAfter the raw materials are selected and the desired amounts weighed, they go through a series of preparation steps. First, they are crushed and purified. Next, they are mixed together before being subjected to one of four forming processes—soft plastic forming, stiff plastic forming, pressing, or casting; the choice depends upon the type of ware being produced. After the porcelain has been formed, it is subjected to a final purification process, bisque-firing, before being glazed. Glaze is a layer of decorative glass applied to and fired onto a ceramic body. The final manufacturing phase is firing, a heating step that takes place in a type of oven called a kiln.
Crushing the raw materials
Forming the body
The character of the raw materials is important in maintaining quality during the manufacturing process. The chemical composition, mineral phase, particle size distribution, and colloidal surface area affect the fired and unfired properties of the porcelain. With unfired body, the properties evaluated include viscosity, plasticity, shrinkage, and strength. With fired porcelain, strength, porosity, color, and thermal expansion are measured. Many of these properties are monitored and controlled during manufacturing using statistical methods. Both the raw materials and the process parameters (milling time and forming pressure, for example) can be adjusted to achieve desired quality.
The FutureHigh-quality porcelain art and dinnerware will continue to enhance the culture. Improvements in manufacturing will continue to increase both productivity and energy efficiency. For instance, a German kiln manufacturer has developed a prefabricated tunnel kiln for fast firing high-quality porcelain in less than 5 hours. Firing is achieved by partly reducing atmosphere at a maximum firing temperature of 2,555 degrees Fahrenheit (1,400 degrees Celsius). The kiln uses high-velocity burners and an automatic control system, producing 23,000 pounds (11,500 kilograms) of porcelain in 24 hours.
Manufacturers of porcelain products may also have to increase their recycling efforts, due to the increase in environmental regulations. Though unfired scrap is easily recycled, fired scrap poses a problem: mechanically strong and therefore hard to break down, it is usually dumped into landfills. However, preliminary research has shown that fired scrap can be reused after thermal quenching (where the scrap is reheated and then quickly cooled), which makes it weaker and easier to break down. The scrap can then be used as a raw material.
Porcelain appears to be playing a more important role in technical applications. Recent patents have been issued to Japanese and American companies in the area of electrical insulators and dental prostheses. NGK Insulators, Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer, has developed high-strength porcelain for electrical insulators, whereas Murata Manufacturing Co. has developed low-temperature-sintering porcelain components for electronic applications.
Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Porcelain.html#ixzz4j63lL3yD
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom displaying thousand of quality floor tiles and wall tiles at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Nerang Tiles is a proud retailer of the finest porcelain hardware tiles suitable for all application such as kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, outdoor tiles, pool tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom today to see the full range of floor tiles and wall tiles.
The end of financial year is soon approaching which means time is running out to claim any and all tax deductions on your investment property for the 2016 financial year.
Now is the time to start thinking about any renovations or improvements that your investment property may need – things like tiling, new kitchen cabinetry, kitchen splash backs, upgrading the bathroom or creating a tiled or paved patio outside. Did we mention tiles as well? All of these improvements and fixes can be tax deducted immediately and listed on your depreciation schedule.
At Nerang Tiles we find that many Australians are choosing to invest in renovations to increase the value of their investment properties. However, many of these clients are still unaware of the tax benefits that can be associated with such projects.
It is possible for investment property owners to claim thousands of dollars back after renovating a property which generates income. Renovations can often be quite expensive and exceed the budget so it makes financial sense to take full advantage of the tax advantages that are available.
Nerang Tiles advises all our clients with investment properties to keep their receipts and to seek professional advice on tax deductions when renovating their properties.
Tiles present a great opportunity to claim a tax deduction. This is because you can claim the labour work as an immediate tax deduction and because tiles become a fixture of the property where you can claim years’ worth of depreciation. Tiles also present the opportunity to increase the value of the property by bringing the home up to date with modern trends and designs as well as giving a bathroom or kitchen a great refresher. Choosing the right tiles is difficult, so ask at Nerang Tiles for the best value for money tiles that can boost the value of your property without hurting your wallet.
As the end of financial year soon approaches, it is important to start thinking about what improvements or renovations you can do to your investment property. Make sure your ask the staff at Nerang Tiles for advice on what sells the best and which tiles will the greatest value for money to increase the value of your investment property without exceeding any budget requirements.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. With a complete range of floor tiles and wall tiles and bathroom accessories like tap-ware, vanities and toilets to match, Nerang Tiles is a one stop shop for investment property renovation that can earn you a great tax deduction for the financial year.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom today to see the full range and get advice on how to best renovate your investment property to increase its value and get some great tax deductions.
Do you live in a multi-level complex or building that has body corporate / strata title by laws that regulate noise? Then this article and the products recommended here are important for you.
More and more people in Australia are now living in high rise buildings where noise and privacy between units is an important issue. At Nerang Tiles we see more and more people moving away from traditional soft floor coverings such as vinyl, timber and carpet flooring to more hard wearing products such as tiles and natural stones. These changes in design and contemporary trends from soft floor coverings to hard flooring can often create adverse noise impact to adjacent and lower residences. This is where Nerang Tiles can help. There are a number of floor impact insulation materials and ceiling construction elements that become important components in the acoustic treatment to minimise noise in surrounding apartments.
It is essential that if you are renovating a unit in a multi-story building that you consider and budget for noise minimisation and insulation products in your renovation budget.
Nerang Tiles has briefly described below some important information about noise insulation in Queensland and some products that may assist when renovating your unit.
What are the floor impact and floor noise / insulation standards in Australia?
Australia currently adopts the standards (ISO) ISO140-7 “Field measurements of impact sound insulation of floors” and ISO 717-2 “Impact Sound Insulation” (AS1276-1).
These standards provide field test procedures and procedures for evaluating single number quantities to determine the impact sound insulation rating. The ISO Standards were adopted by Building Code of Australia (BCA).
What are your strata schemes or body corporate by laws?
The most important thing to check before deciding and budgeting for your unit renovation is to investigate your building’s by laws. The by laws will describe the minimum requirements and limitations on renovating your unit. You should find information on noise minimisation standards, tiling (sometimes the by laws will specify the size and colour to be used in and outside your unit) and the hours of constructions permitted.
It is important to understand that when you purchase or rent an apartment you are signing a contract that binds you to the by-laws of your building. Some strata schemes may have adopted the standard by-laws or Model By-Laws, and some schemes may have by-laws which differ from these Model By-Laws and created their own custom rules and regulations that still fit in to the overarching legislation that exists. All this means is that it is critically important for you to check your by laws before planning any renovation.
What do you need to check for in your by laws when renovating your apartment?
In our experience by laws tends to be very prescriptive or more prescriptive than general las. By laws are by nature designed to reflect the lifestyle choices of the majority of residents that live under your strata. If you are intending on renovating your unit which may cause potential noise changes then we recommend that you:
What products should I use and make sure my tilers use and budget for when renovating my apartment in a high rise building?
There are a number of products out there in the market under the umbrella of numerous brands. Many different tile shops and other companies will have a tendency to go with the best value or cheapest or more accessible product to them.
Nerang Tiles has done extensive research into this field and associated itself with one of the leading adhesive and floor covering brands in the Australian Industry. We asked Davco what the best products to use are and discovered it is the same we though.
Below is a brief description of the two recommended alternative products that can be used to minimise noise and meet any strata noise by laws that may exist in your apartment building.
Davco Sound Zero Acoustic 5mm T5 Mat
Made specifically to reduce sound transmission through floor tiling systems. It is made from graded and compressed rubber product that sits flat for ease of use.
For general living areas, where tiling takes place directly to the mat or where a sand/cement screed is used over the mat.
Typical application includes: Office buildings, Airports, Shopping Centres, Hotels, Homes and Apartments.
All types of tiles and stone, including ceramics, terracotta, porcelain, marble and quarry stone and other type of flooring such as hardwood or bamboo floor applications.
Davco Sound Zero Acoustic 5mm T5 Mat comes in 1.1m x 1.1m mat (1.21m2)
Davco Sound Zero Acoustic T5 Mat is ideal for use under ceramic tile, slate, stone and other types of flooring such as bamboo and hardwood floors in many applications. For general living areas, where tiling takes place directly to the mat or where a sand/cement screed is used over the mat. Typical applications include office buildings, airports, shopping centres, hotels, homes and apartments.
All surfaces must be structurally sound, dry, clean and free from movement, oil, grease, wax, curing compounds and any other loose or contaminating materials. Steel trowel finished concrete must be mechanically abraded and all dust removed. Mechanically remove all paint and contaminants and prime with Davco Ultraprime. If the floor is not level, it is recommended to install Lanko 133 Pro Level. This is particularly important if large format tiles are to be installed and directly adhered to the matting. Allow the Lanko 133 Pro Level to cure for 24 hours before covering.
Sound Rating: - Impact Sound T5 Sound Zero Mat ISO 140-7 : 1998 & 717-2 : 1998 Weighted Standardised Impact Sound Pressure Level LnTW : 51 CI : -5
The new BCA Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions require the L’n,w + Cl of a floor to be determined by testing in the laboratory. The impact sound insulation requirements for floors are: L’n,w + Cl not more than 62 for floors separating dwellings and for floors separating dwellings from a plant room, lift shaft, stairway, public corridor, public lobby or the like, or parts of a different classification. The terms to describe the impact sound insulation rating of a floor when tested on-site, is the weighted standardised impact sound pressure level (L’nT,w) plus the spectrum adaptation term (Cl ). L’nT,w + Cl is similar to the laboratory term L’n,w + Cl . For floors tested on-site, the impact sound insulation requirements are as follows: L’nT,w + Cl not more than 62 for floors separating dwellings and for floors separating dwellings from a plant room, lift shaft, stairway, public corridor, public lobby or the like, or parts of a different classification.
Sound Zero 2 Part
A 2 part, flexible, ceramic tile underlay applied to floors prior to tiling to reduce sound transmission
Most common substrates; concrete and concrete sides, cement-based flooring compounds, levelling compounds, compressed fibre cement sheeting and timber. Suitable for use with under floor heating and ceramic tiles.
Suitable for interior and exterior applications. Commercial and domestic floors in areas such as office buildings, airports, shopping centres, hotels, homes, apartments and other areas where sound transmission may be a problem.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile store on the Gold Coast with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at discount prices at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Nerang Tiles has all tile types that include tiles suitable as kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, outdoor tiles, pool tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Nerang Tiles is also the leading tile store in tiling supplies and advice. Nerang Tiles can source and stocks numerous brands and products that include adhesive, clips, wedges, grout, silicone. primers and many more tiling products suitable for any job you may have including sound proofing acoustics underlay and adhesive options.
Optical hazing effect is not a new phenomenon. So what is Optical hazing? How does it present itself and what causes it?
Firstly, it will present as a smoky, hazy, smudgy type of finish in the surface of polished porcelain tiles, it will only be visible when a direct light source reflects at a certain angle across the surface of the tile.
Optical hazing is caused by light. If you could observe a ray of light approaching a mirror you would see it also bouncing or reflecting from the mirror. Where and how it bounces or reflects is referred to as the “behaviour of light as it reflects” and is known as the “law of reflection”.
Reflection off a smooth surface such as a mirror is known as specular reflection. While reflection off a rough surface such as ceramic tiles is known as diffuse reflection. Many consumers have expectations that their polished porcelain floor is going to have a mirror like finish. A polished porcelain tile is not a mirror. When the surface of a polished porcelain tile is examined under a microscope, small micro facets are found. Light that strikes these micro facets reflects in a diffused manner giving a “Halo” or “Haze” effect.The amount of haze visible depends on several factors:
It is worth restating that Polished porcelain tiles are not mirrors and such an expectation should not be created during the selling process. It is paramount that the consultants advise the end user of optical haze characteristics that may occur.
Nerang Tiles imports tiles from around the world to ensure we supply only the highest quality floor tiles and wall tiles to our customers. Below is some great information from the Italy Tile Agency on how to choose the right location for the tiles you have selected.
There are tiles for all environments but there is no such tile that is suitable for all purposes. one cannot just choose at random; the consumer has to make an informed choice.
When making your choice, bear in mind:
Design considerations. The tiles must fit in with the furnishings and the range of objects, colors, shapes and activities that exist in the environment. They must also match its shape, dimensions, area and lighting, etc. This choice also depends on personal taste and fashion, so it is difficult, and perhaps inappropriate to lay down rules.
Technical considerations. This rule must be followed:
the tiles should have technical characteristics and levels of resistance to stress (mechanical, chemical, thermal etc.,) that will be adequate for the environment in which they will be installed. In other words, the greater the probable stress will be, the higher the performance and the more resistant the tiles must be.
Let us now look at some practical examples of this principle. First of all, we will look at the rooms in the home - and tiles look good in any room in the house - where tiles with special technical and design characteristics have to be chosen.
We will then give some tips on choosing the most suitable floor tiles for public buildings and factories in order to show how tile characteristics must match the use to which they are to be put.
Tiles must therefore have a compact body because of its superior mechanical characteristics and the tiles must be thicker in order to withstand heavy loads. Tiles must be exceptionally resistant to abrasion and chemical exposure and tile surfaces must be hard and compact in order to limit penetration from dirt and to facilitate cleaning and greater hygiene. In areas in which there is a high risk of slipping, tiles with a slip resistant surface must be laid (tiles with a rough or relief surface). Porcelain stoneware or red stoneware tiles may also be selected for this purpose.
These brief examples do not cover all the environments that can be tiled or address problematic tiling situations. They are merely intended to demonstrate the best way to proceed and the factors that should be taken into account when choosing tiles.
Credit: Italy Trade Agency: http://www.italytile.com/talking_about_tiles.php?page=7
It is always handy to have a quick refresher to remind us on how to and to maintain and clean our floor spaces.
It is no secret that tiles have a huge lifespan which can be further extended if the tiles are cared for properly.
Homeowners can do their part to ensure a tiled floor or wall can keep their technical characteristics and continue to look brand new.
Porcelain and ceramic tile fitted homes are one of the most hard wearing and durable surfaces that exist today, especially compared to other floor materials that are commonly softer, inflammable or stain or scratch easily.
Nerang Tiles recommends taking some precautions when using certain chemicals and cleaning agents and methods for cleaning and maintaining your floor tiles or wall tiles.
Below is a list of top tips from Nerang Tiles for homeowners to be aware of and to consider when cleaning or maintaining your floor tiles or wall tiles.
Nerang Tiles recommends using safe and environmentally friendly appropriate detergents, such as standard commercial tile care products. In particular, avoid using acid based detergents that are very harsh and corrosive. Even if they do not damage the tiles, acids of this type could damage cement based grouting which can in turn crack the grout or discolour it. Also remember that only grouts made of epoxy materials have good resistance to chemical corrosion. Nerang Tiles has a range of tile cleaning products and can recommend professional tile cleaners to assist you with this process.
When cleaning your tiles or tile grout try to avoid using highly abrasive materials such as metal pads or aluminium scrub brushes. If they must be used, exercise extreme caution. Please make sure you consider the type of material you use when scrubbing your tiles, particularly when you have a glazed or shiny wall tiles. Rough materials can score or scratch the surface and you can loose the aesthetics of a gloss finish more easily.
Precautions and protection
Although tiled floors are one of the most durable and hard wearing flooring products when laid, tiled floors are not completely resilient to damage. In other words, your floor tiles are only moderately shock proof. Please be careful when handling heavy objects, particularly heavy objects that are also hard wearing or have sharp corners. Every effort should be made to prevent heavy objects from dropping on your floor tiles. Areas on which objects are more likely to be dropped or on which they drop more frequently should be protected with mats. For example, in the kitchen, the area in front of the oven and sink should be protected.
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. With the largest range of floor tiles and wall tiles in Queensland you are sure to find the perfect floor tiles or wall tiles at Nerang Tiles.
Tile types on offer include tiles suitable as kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, outdoor tiles, pool tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles and much more. You will find floor tiles and wall tiles as a porcelain or ceramic that look like timber tiles, marble tiles, stone tiles and tiles that are subway tiles, mosaic tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom to see the full range of porcelain and ceramic floor tiles and wall tiles today.
If you find that the tiles you have selected for your wet areas like around the pool or in your bathroom are too slippery then do not worry.
You do not have to rip up the tiles and get new ones, there is a solution.
Nerang Tiles stock a product called TILE GRIP.
Tile GRIP is a liquid specifically designed to reduce the danger of slipping on wet tiles. It is recommended for use on hard, thick floor glazes like mosaics and porcelain or ceramic floor tiles.
TILE GRIP is a once only application - meaning that you only have to apply it once to your tiles.
All you need to do is pour a small amount of the TILE GRIP over the area of tiles you wish to treat. Spread the liquid evenly over the floor with a sponge ensuring all areas are completely covered. After about 10 minutes you can then remove the liquid through a thorough washing with plenty of clean water.
After that you will have a surface with a grip finish that can only be felt when the tile is wet.
Visit Nerang Tiles to feel and see the difference this product makes and grab a bottle to apply to your slippery tiles.
In many homes today, the kitchen is designed to have spatial and visible connection to the social activities of the household. This increased accessibility means it attracts more foot traffic than almost any other area of the house. Tiles are a natural choice for a floor that must support daily wear and tear and look good in the bargain. If you’re considering tiles, weigh up what’s on offer and how they’ll suit your lifestyle.
The case for tiles
Tiles deliver many of the things a hard-working floor needs. In general, they repel water, shrug off most stains, clean up well, resist fading and scratching and are hygienic. The right choice will ensure your kitchen floor enhances and protects the heart of your home for years to come. Properties differ between the main tile types, so get ready to put them through their paces.
1. Ceramic (non-porcelain)
Ceramic tiles are classified as non-porcelain and porcelain. For the average tile shopper, ‘ceramic’ usually refers to non-porcelain ceramic.
° The range of colours, finishes, textures, sizes and shapes is enormous.
° Cutting and laying can be done by a competent DIYer.
° Ceramic is zero VOC (but VOCs may be present in grout, adhesives and sealants).
° Price range is generally lower than porcelain.
° They feel cool in hot climates and underfloor heating creates a heat bank in cold conditions.
What to consider
° All tiles have the potential to cause foot fatigue with long periods of standing. This can be reduced by anti-fatigue floor mats and supportive footwear.
° Ceramic adapts to room temperature, so if unheated, can be chilly underfoot in cool climates.
° Sound reflective properties contribute to noise in an open-pla area.
° There is potential for chipping, which is hard to repair without replacement.
° Dropped items almost certainly break.
° Grout may become stained and dingy and require maintenance.
Porcelain is a high-quality clay-based ceramic that has been subjected to extremely high heat and compression. Porcelain tiles have slightly different clay and mineral composition than non-porcelain ceramic tiles.
° They are harder and denser than non-porcelain ceramic, and virtually non-porous.
° VOC emissions are zero.
° No sealing is required to water-proof them.
° Glazing and polishing create attractive shine and textures for modern interiors.
° Interior porcelain tiling flows seamlessly to outdoor areas as porcelain is highly weather-resistant.
° Engineering techniques can mimic natural stone and timber, with virtually undetectable differences.
What to consider
° Average prices are higher for porcelain than non-porcelain ceramic.
° High density makes tiles harder to cut and requires professional laying, increasing the overall cost. Extreme hardness means precision cutting around architectural features or creating non-standard shapes can be problematic.
° Heaviness makes porcelain unsuitable for certain layouts, for example, brick patterns. ‘Lipping’, or subsidence of a sub-surface under increased weight, can result in an uneven surface.
° Its weight requires a stable and strong substrate capable of supporting it. This restricts its use in upper storeys of buildings.
Another form of ceramic, terracotta’s recent popularity follows hot on the heels of the 2017 ‘tribal’ trend towards earthy colours and raw textures.
° It’s unbeaten for its fabulous foot-friendly feel.
° Tonal variations add warmth and interest, softening the look of a sleek kitchen with a cool pale palette.
° Its character mellows with age.
° Although it’s porous, if well-sealed and maintained, it’s extremely durable and stain-resistant.
° It suits both both modern and traditional decor.
What to consider
° Sealing is essential and a professional job adds to the cost. Resealing is needed every few years.
° It may be difficult to find a matching tonal palette if a damaged tile needs replacing.
Our current love affair with the warmth and beauty that organic materials bring to our homes has shone a light on natural stone.
° Stone is rugged and adds character and natural beauty to floors, indoors and out.
° Every natural stone floor is unique.
° It’s an investment in the value of your home.
What to consider
° Expect to spend. Factor in the cost of engaging a professional familiar with stone laying.
° As no two quarries are alike, grading natural stone tiles is somewhat imprecise.To guarantee your investment, source tiles from stone specialists.
° As with all natural stone tiles, be prepared to do some regular maintenance.
Granite has the advantage over some other stone products in that it is non-porous. It is on average harder and more stain-resistant than other stones but like all stone, should be sealed in moisture-prone areas.
Travertine has survived in Rome’s Trevi Fountain for almost 300 years. It is a porous stone, but when filled, honed and sealed, is a durable material. However, it may scratch. It can be sanded to a smooth matt finish that creates a good non-slip surface.
Limestone is considered more durable than travertine. Its palette, from pale silvery white to on-trend greys with delicate flecking, is a natural fit for modern decors.
Slate has regained its mojo lately. It offers more grip than many other stones, an attractive hewn look, low maintenance and a ruggedness that suits rigorous activity. A unique earthy palette, from charcoal, pewter and olive to rust-kissed blue-greys, adds to its appeal.
Modern treatments hone slate to a smooth satin or matt finish, and engineer slabs to enable narrow grouting, which cuts down on maintenance.
Here are some common terms you’ll see when tile shopping.
The composition of a full-body tile is uniform throughout the depth of the tile and will wear consistently. Surface scratches and chips are less noticeable in full-body tiles. Polished unglazed porcelain tiles are full-body tiles. Glazed tiles with pigment mixed throughout the tile may be called ‘through-colour’.
All ceramic tiles are vitrified to an extent, but a fully vitrified tile has quartz and feldspar added before firing. This creates a glass-like element within the tile and a very low absorption rate of less than 0.5 per cent, compared to 3 to 5 per cent in a standard glazed ceramic tile.
Tiles can have a glass-like surface coating that adds to their durability and low porosity. All non-porcelain ceramic tiles are glazed, porcelain tiles may also be glazed. Glazes are applied to digitally printed tiles, for example, those with a timber or stone print. They protect printed details, but potentially show wear.
Polishing is a mechanical process. Polishing porcelain results in a smooth reflective easy-clean surface. It is popular nowadays for a silky sophisticated result.
When ceramic or porcelain tiles are fired, it causes slight irregularities in shape. Rectification creates near-perfect straight edges in ceramic and porcelain tiles after firing, reducing the need for wide grout to allow for slight edge differences. The result is a smooth, almost seamless, look with narrow grouting.
What tiles do you have on your kitchen floor? How are they performing? Tell us in the Comments.
Credit: Janet Dunn 10 May 2017
Houzz Australia Contributor. Former NZ House&Garden writer and stylist, and avid interior design enthusiast. Ex-restaurateur and caterer, with a Professional Certificate in Gastronomy, University of Adelaide.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile store with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Visit Nerang Tiles to see the full range of porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles suitable as kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, feature tiles, outdoor tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles and much more.
With perfect imperfections in texture and colour, stone look porcelain tiles can recreate the ancient beauty of natural stone in stunning natural stone look porcelain stoneware.
This new stone look porcelain tile is no exception. The veining and natural look of ancient stone is perfectly imitated.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom.
Nerang Tiles has one of the largest stone look tile ranges suitable as bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, outdoor tiles, pool tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom to see the full range.
Another new range of timber tiles that replicate the natural veining and feel of wood at Nerang Tiles.
The Nerang Tiles Gold Coast showroom already has one of the largest timber tile ranges in Queensland and it just keeps on growing.
This new range is available in three different colours that cover a range of interior design options.
Available in a large format 295 x 1200, this tile range is best suited for large open spaces and those seeking that rustic / modern look while with warm features while maintaining the easy maintenance and enduring practicality of porcelain tiles.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast tile showroom.
Nerang Tiles has one of the largest timber tile ranges in Queensland suitable as bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, outdoor tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom to see the full range.
With a fraction of the price of natural marble slabs and tiles, Carrara porcelain tiles are the perfect range to add a touch of lux into your home.
Carrara porcelain tiles replicate the inherent natural veining and polished surface of natural occuring marble, creating the most sought after look for every design conscious renovator.
Porcelain tiles are stain and scratch resistant while being harder wearing and the perfect replication of the natural stone found in the Italian Dolomites.
Introducing a new 600 x 600 Carrara Porcelain tile to Nerang Tiles suitable for indoor and outdoor applications and as a bathroom tile, kitchen tile, floor tile or wall tile in area of the home.
Available in a polished finish and an outdoor finish with a non slip application to go around pools or to add that extra textured finish to a feature wall.
Ask for the PRE010 in store
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom on the Gold Coast with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display suitable as bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles, pool tiles, outdoor tiles, feature tiles and much more.
Visit the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast tile showroom to see the entire range of floor tiles and wall tiles on offer.
Advanced and refined stone effect for an urban interior design
The “stone material” is characterized by a deep three-dimensional graphics and by an almost infinite graphic variety, the result of the most advanced digital technology
The careful selection of color points belonging to the family of warm gray makes this tile collection a collection with a strong aesthetic personality and, at the same time, delicate. Available surfaces: natural, polished, structured for outdoor use.
The uniqueness of this material is given by the movement of the drawing, by the particular photographs which characterize every centimeter of each slab and by the play of light with the direct application in printing of inks transparencies, chosen and calibrated specifically to emphasize the realistic performance. This alternate use of shiny and opaque glazes - an actual new technology and expression of the currently most advanced digital process - means that, visually, it looks like a real piece of stone. By touch, you will realize that the surface is perfectly smooth, therefore easy to clean and easy to manage, from the installation to daily maintenance. These are the qualities making this tile collection a superior product.
Unstructured surface with a deep three-dimensional visual effect
Visually, it’s like watching a real vertical section of stone. But if you try to run your hand on it, you’ll realize that the surface is perfectly smooth, thus easy to clean and to handle
POLISHED SURFACE, TIMELESS ELEGANCE
Ceramic tile is a mixture of clays and other natural materials. The special clays are mined from the earth, shaped, colored and than fired in kilns. Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally colored and left unglazed like terra cotta, or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) either in a high gloss or matte finish. Most ceramic tile has either a white or red body coloration underneath the glazed, colored top layer.
Porcelain tile is a newer form of ceramic tile and extremly popular among homeowners. Porcelain tiles are composed of fine porcelain clays and fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles. This process makes porcelain tile more dense, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles. For these reasons, most porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations. Porcelain tiles are also harder to cut due to their density and hardness.
Unglazed porcelain tile is homogenous in terms of its through-body coloration. The color goes all the way through from top to bottom, so scratches or dings are less obvious and has better slip-resistance. Glazed porcelain tiles (meaning a glazing top top of the tile surface) may or may not have the same coloration from top to bottom because of the top glazed layer. Glazed porcelain tiles help seal the microscopic pores thus are easier to maintain than unglazed tiles. Because porcelain can be made to resemble stone, it is sometimes a better choice than Mother Natureâ€™s natural products simply because itâ€™s less porous and less prone to cracking.
However, not all ceramic or porcelain tiles are suitable for all areas. Tile products generally (although not all, due to the growing choice of imports) are wear-rated from low to high. Most manufacturers worldwide do meet international standards. Because all tiles are not rated for taking floor traffic, it&aposs important for consumers to select a tile appropriate for their project.
Regardless of whether you choose ceramic tile or porcelain tile for your decorating project you will find both types of tiles offer a variety of shapes and sizes in field tiles as well as some border and accent tiles. This will give you an almost unlimited amount of decorating options by mixing and matching different field tile sizes and shapes along with borders and accent tiles to really add pizazz and charm to your decor.
Rectified tile is often described incorrectly and is confusing for most tile buyers. It is simply tile that has been ground or sawed after firing to achieve a more precise tile size. Many tiles will vary slightly in size after being fired (both porcelain and ceramic tiles it is up to 1.5% variation) . By sawing or grinding the tiles after firing the manufacturer hopes to minimize the size variations from tile to tile. Although, at this time there are no set ANSI standards set for what the minimun variations are allowed for rectified tiles, it is strictly up to the tile manufacturer.
Shade variation in ceramic and porcelain tiles is a natural characteristic of kiln fired products and will vary to some degree from piece to piece and from batch to batch.
Some products have very little natural variation while others have an intentional substantial variation.
The Tile Variation Guide was developed to provide the prospective buyer with an overall indication of colour, shade, design and texture variations that can be expects with a particular tile product.
The variations have been graded from V1 to V4.
It is recommended that you layout a quantity of the tiles purchased to view any variations before tiling commences. If you are not satisfied with the variation in your tile product then you should immediately stop or not start laying the tiles and contact your tile supplier.
Tile Variation Guide
V1 – Uniform Appearance (minimal Variation)
Differences among pieces from the same production run are minimal. The tiles should have uniform appearance and minimal variation.
V2 Slight to Moderate Variation
Clearly distinguishable texture and or pattern within similar colours. The tiles have a slight to moderation variation in shade, design and texture.
V3 Moderate to Considerable Variation
While the colours present on a single pieces of tile will be indicative of the colours to be expected on other tiles, the design and or amount of colour on each piece may vary significantly. The tiles have moderate to considerable variation in colour, design, texture and overall appearance.
V4 Substantial Variation
Random colour differences from tile to tile, so that one tile may have a totally different colours form other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique. The tiles will have a substantial random variation in colour, design, texture and overall appearance.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast tile showroom. Nerang Tiles has a range of floor tiles and wall tiles that have no, little, medium or high variation in a porcelain or ceramic tile. The range is huge and customers should also inquire about variation in their tiles. Remember that a sample of a tile is an indication of the colour only and more samples should be ordered to see the full variation in any tile ordered.
There are three phases in the process of cleaning and maintaining tiled surfaces. General cleaning and problem solving are addressed in the following pages.
DURING TILING AND PRIOR TO HANDOVER
We begin by stressing the importance of protecting tiled surfaces during the laying process and immediately prior to the area being used.
The tile layers are responsible for sweeping the floor prior to commencement and during the installation process, thus removing any grit or debris which may scratch or mark the surface of the tiles.
Regardless of the area you have tiled or the type of tile used, all products require adequate protection during the installation process and prior to handover.
In many instances other tradespersons will have to walk on the finished tiling to work in the area in question or adjacent locations.
Once the adhesive has set, and tiles can be subjected to foot traffic, the owner or builder should ensure that the surface is protected by covering the tiles with an appropriate protective layer – cardboard, plywood, building paper, felt or a proprietary product designed specifically for this purpose. Critically, the floor should be swept and be completely cleaned before the protective layer is applied, and any objects that may scratch the tiles surface should be removed.
In addition, other trades should be advised not to place tools, or tool boxes directly on the surface of the tiles. Care must be taken to avoid spills of plaster or paint. Loose sand and cement particles can scratch or mark tiles. Blue metal aggregate can scratch the hardest ceramic surfaces, when trapped in the soles of work boots.
Care should be taken to avoid dropping heavy objects, or dragging ladders and other equipment over the surface of the tiled floor.
Critically the tiled floor should be examined when work is completed, just prior to handover.
GENERAL CLEANING OF TILE SURFACES
Ceramic floor and wall tiles generally require minimal levels of care and maintenance. Nevertheless, it is important to understand how a particular tile surface should be cleaned and maintained. For example, the maintenance of regular glazed tiles, is different to the processes required to clean and maintain unglazed materials. Fortunately those processes are relatively simple to understand and apply.
Glazed Floor Tiles
Traditional glazed ceramic tiles and glazed porcelain floor tiles laid in residential homes require minimal maintenance.
Tiles laid in commercial environments or public spaces will require daily cleaning and maintenance.
In a residential environment the levels of cleaning and general maintenance are determined by the location of the floor tiles and the volume of foot traffic and general wear and tear the surface is subjected too.
In a busy home with multiple occupants, including children and pets daily maintenance may be required. In an apartment where grit and dirt are rarely transported to the apartment’s interior, or in a home occupied by minimal occupants, maintenance can be carried out on a weekly basis.
Regardless of circumstances the cleaning and maintenance processes required to clean and maintain glazed ceramic tiles or glazed porcelain tiles are identical, only the frequency will vary, in response to the number of occupants and the general levels of foot traffic.
Tiles are best kept clean by adopting the following simple steps and procedures.
Textured Glazed and Unglazed Floor Tiles
There are a variety of unglazed ceramic surfaces which include:
Natural (matt) finished porcelain tiles are generally impervious, which means that their surface is highly resistant to liquid spills and subsequent staining or a build-up of grime or dirt. However, in certain circumstances these surfaces are sealed to add a layer of protection which makes it easier to remove residual material.
Most terracotta tiles are relatively porous, so they are sealed to prevent spills of liquid being absorbed into the body of the tile.
Quarry tiles are generally impervious, but may be sealed to permit easy cleaning and removal of residual grime.
The general cleaning processes used to clean and maintain unglazed surfaces are:
Remember, the final application of clean water actually removes the dirt.
In wet areas like showers and around swimming pools a build-up of various contaminants like body fat, oils, soap residue and liquid spills may occur. In humid conditions organic growth, algae and mould may appear. These potential contaminants can be removed with an appropriate, heavy-duty (problem solving) cleaner.
Slip-Resistant Tile Surfaces
Textured or profiled slip-resistant tile surfaces may attract various fibres, organic dirt and liquid substances which create a gradual build-up of grime. These surfaces will require regular maintenance, including the use of a rubber stubble or micro-fibre broom, to agitate and remove potential contaminants.
In some instances use of a high power water-jet will be sufficient to remove loose particles of dirt. This will not damage the tiles, but it may erode cementitious grouts if the process is conducted regularly.
Many leading European and Asian manufacturers produce polished porcelain tile. In layman’s terms, the manufacturer obtains a bright, highly polished, marble-like surface by grinding down and then polishing the hard surface of natural, unglazed porcelain.
In some instances, the polishing process may open micro-pores in the surface of the tile, which attract a build-up of grease or grime, or permit spills of liquid contaminants to seep into the surface of the tile creating a stain which may be difficult to remove.
Note: It is worth repeating that any spills should be wiped up as quickly as possible.
Sealing Polished Porcelain Tiles
Many manufacturers state that their polished porcelain tiles comply with International Standards Organisation (ISO) 13006 – 2013; 4.3.2-2(i), which classifies products that have a water absorption rate that does not exceed 0.5 per cent – Class B1a. In theory these products should not require sealing.
Unfortunately, some porcelain tiles although still within the required standard limits, have slightly higher rates of porosity which may result in a build-up of grime, dirt, discolouration and in some instances staining caused by liquid penetration.
Many responsible tile retailers recommend that all polished porcelain tiles are pre-sealed prior to laying. In addition, a number of tile manufacturers pre-seal products as part of the production process.
Your tile supplier will be fully aware of the best way to protect the surface of the polished porcelain products you purchase. If they advise that you seal the product, you should follow that advice.
If in doubt, you can conduct a simple test by using an eye-dropper to deposit small amounts of potential contaminants on the surface of a tile. Deposit small samples of red wine, ink, cooking oil and lemon juice on a tile’s surface, leave the substances on the floor for 15 to 20 minutes and then try to wipe the residue away. If any of them have seeped into the surface or leave a visible stain, the polished porcelain requires sealing.
The sealing process is relatively simple, some tile layers will carry out the task, or a sealing specialist can be consulted. Your tile supplier will undoubtedly recommend and probably supply an appropriate sealer.
In general terms, the maintenance of polished porcelain is similar to the processes used to clean and maintain regular glazed ceramic tiles and glazed porcelain. Sweep the surfaces regularly, mop carefully with a minimal amount of water, and vacuum or use micro-fibre wipes as required.
By sealing polished porcelain tile it is easier to clean and maintain the surface. The manufacturer of the sealing product will also supply products which can be used to carry out general maintenance of the sealed surface.
Always consult your tile supplier in relation to choosing appropriate seal and maintenance products. A choice will be made between topical sealers which sit on the surface and penetrating sealers. The latter type is usually preferred with polished porcelain.
Refer to the following chapter on Problem Solving for further advice.
Glazed Wall Tiles
Kitchen wall tiles can be splashed during food preparation and cooking processes, however these marks will not pose a problem, especially if they are promptly wiped away.
Bathroom wall tiles particularly in the shower where soap and shampoo residues will eventually develop a feint film which will detract from the overall appearance.
In some instances, the water supply may contain calcium carbonate or calcium sulphate, which can create a white stain.
A light wipe with a soft cloth will remove soap, shampoo and calcium before it dries.
If a problem develops it can be easily resolved by using warm water with a pH neutral cleaner, which will provide a clean, shining surface.
Harsh and abrasive cleaners should be avoided at all costs, especially on decorated feature tiles as some feature tiles contain a metallic finish that can be easily scratched. Your tile retailer can recommend a suitable cleanser.
In spite of the fact that ceramic tile is the simplest surface to clean and maintain, problems can occur. We have seen that tiles require minimal levels of maintenance. In some instances, problems are created by using inappropriate and often unnecessary cleaning and cleansing materials or by allowing stains (staining agents) to set on the tile surface for long periods. Light sweeping, light mopping with clean water and a pH neutral soapless cleanser, if absolutely necessary, will suffice.
In many instances, this task only needs to be completed once a week.
Specialist acidic or alkaline cleaners should only be used to resolve complex staining problems, which rarely occur in private dwellings. Avoid using cleaners which contain wax, sodium silicate, or any additives which may leave a sticky film on the floor that may attract dirt and a subsequent build-up of grime.
Many of the problems outlined below relate to tiles which have a textured or structured surface, these are usually unglazed products.
This problem can occur on a variety of tiled surfaces. It is usually created when tile layers hastily complete the grouting process, without washing off residue grout effectively. Some contemporary ceramic products have slightly textured surfaces which can encourage grout to cling to the surface of the tile.
Tile layers should use a clean sponge and clean water to carefully remove excess grout, without dragging grout out of the grout joints. To do this effectively it is important not to commence the wash off process too soon. In addition, residue grout should be completely squeezed out of the sponge, and the water should be changed frequently.
On Warm days grout will dry quicker and will be more prone to adhering to the tile’s surface. In those circumstances, smaller areas should be grouted to avoid sections drying too quickly, leaving behind a feint residue that later proves difficult to remove.
In most instances a light grout bloom will become evident, this can be removed using a dry rag. If grout has not been washed off effectively, this bloom or haze may reappear making the surface look smeared, dirty or dull.
If this problem occurs, the owner needs to address it promptly, as the longer it is left unattended the harder it becomes to remove the residue grout film, which will attract additional grime.
In some instances, latex contained in grout improvers may be part of the problem, the cementitious element of the grout will have been removed, but feint traces of the latex element of the mix may remain.
At this point, many home owners resort to using general household cleaners which may contain a mild alkaline or mild acidic element, which may not prove successful. Latex is usually removed by using an appropriate solvent to release it from the surface. The floor should be thoroughly cleaned with water prior to application of the solvent.
Epoxy grouts are more difficult to remove. These should always be applied and cleaned strictly following manufacturer recommendations. Never leave residues on the tile surface.
Most epoxy grout manufacturers have specific dedicated products for the cleaning.
Fortunately, most of our leading manufacturers of adhesive and grout produce problem solving cleaners which will resolve the problem. If grout haze occurs, talk to your tile supplier for advice and consult with the tile layer to ascertain which grout was used.
Once the floor is cleaned it will no longer be necessary to use these special cleaners on a regular basis.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Conduct a test on a small out of the way section of the floor to check that the result is satisfactory.
This may occur in areas which lack adequate ventilation, it may be necessary to install an extractor fan. Mould can be removed by scrubbing with a scourer, using one of the following - bicarbonate of soda, methylated spirits, cloudy ammonia or epsom salts.
The popularity of porcelain products encouraged manufacturers to apply a light wax coating to the surface of each tile, to protect the surface of the tile from scratching during the packing, in transit and installation processes.
The majority of these wax coatings are water soluble, they can be removed using a water-based alkaline cleanser.
Before removing solvent based waxes let the cleaner dwell on the tile surface for 10 to 15 minutes to dissolve the wax. Your tile retailer can give you guidance.
You should check if your chosen porcelain tile has been coated with wax, your tile layer should be alerted prior to installation.
Overuse of High Alkaline Detergents
As previously stated, clean water and a mild pH cleanser will be suitable for cleaning the majority of tile surfaces. Use of alkaline or acidic cleaners will often create problems.
Alkaline cleaners should only be used to remove specific stains, they should not form a part of the regular maintenance programme.
This problem usually occurs in external applications of unglazed ceramic materials and natural stone.
Efflorescence usually appears on the surface of a tile or around the joints in the form of a white powder. This unsightly problem is created by the transmission of liquid salts from below the tiles to the surface. In most new installations the residue can be swept or vacuumed away. The presence of excessive moisture is the prime cause of the problem.
In some instances the problem reoccurs, always remove every trace promptly to prevent hardening and subsequent calcification.
Specialist cleansers are available to treat the problem. These can only be employed when the source of the moisture is identified and if the problem persists a specialist should be consulted
Guide to Stain Removal for Unglazed Tiles
Unglazed surfaces undoubtedly present the greatest problem in regard to staining, as it is generally harder to remove liquid spills or other marks from textured or rough surfaces. Once again emphasis is placed on early removal. In addition unglazed products are frequently used externally because of their enhanced slip-resistance.
It is probably wise to seal unglazed, matt finished products laid externally around pools and in entertainment areas.
Listed below are some of the remedies which can be used to treat stains on unglazed tiles.
STAIN CLEANSER TYPE
Daily Cleaner ph neutral cleaner
` Cooking fats and oils` Solvent based cleaner
Ink Acid based cleaner, Acetone
Rust and Oxides Acid based cleaner
Rubber Solvent based cleaner
Ice cream Solvent based cleaner
Paint Solvent based cleaner
Coffee Alkaline based cleaner
Wax Alkaline based cleaner
Linseed oil Alkaline based cleaner
Note: Always read the manufacturer’s instruction carefully and test a small area first to check effectiveness.
The wrong cleaner is often chosen and in many instances cleaners are used incorrectly so adopt the following procedure.
To avoid long term issues immediately wipe-up spills of any liquid which could cause a stain.
Double Check the following Prior to Commencement
□ The correct tiles and quantities have been delivered.
▪ Ensure that all of the tiles which have been delivered are the correct type, and quantity.
Errors can occur and it is easier to resolve problems before fixing commences.
Tile suppliers generally may not recognise claims once tiles have been installed.
□ There are enough tiles to complete the job.
▪ The tile supplier may provide an estimate of the quantities you require, however the final responsibility rests with the purchaser via their contractor or tradesperson to confirm quantities which should always include allowances for wastage, cutting and spare tiles. If the laying pattern is complex or the tiles are difficult to cut, the percentage allowed for wastage should be increased.
Under measurement may result in a situation where the same tile or batch is not available.
If quantities are over-measured, the supplier may levy a handling charge to return excess products or they may simply refuse to accept returns.
□ The delivered materials are all the same Shade (batch) and Caliber.
▪ In most instances, tile batches are assigned a shade number and calibre. In the event of a shortage, it will be necessary to order the same shade and calibre. The markings are generally printed on the box. It is good advice to keep the marked section from one empty box of each type for later reference.
Shade variation is an inherent feature associated with tile production. It is the tiler’s responsibility to check the markings on all boxes before installation proceeds. If shade numbers are not checked properly, two batches may be installed in the same area. There is always a possibility that neither of these batches would be available if required.
Consequently the cost of remedying this error could be substantial and time consuming.
All shade and calibre markings must be checked prior to commencement.
Tile suppliers will not accept claims after materials have been installed.
Keep copies of all invoices and if possible record shade and calibre numbers.
□ The Tiler is aware of the exact positioning of any feature, listelli, borders, patterns, trims or accessories.
▪ Ensure that your fixer is conversant with your requirements in regard to the required laying pattern and the precise positioning of any borders or decorative feature tiles, trims or accessories.
He should also be aware of the required width of grout joints, movement joints and perimeter movement joints. The width of grout joints should also be agreed, in accordance with ISO or Australian Standards, or tile manufacturers’ written recommendations.
□ Ensure that defective tiles are not installed.
▪ Instruct your tiler to look for possible defective products, which have small but visible defects. Unfortunately, it is possible that a small number of tiles may be affected. In most instances, these products can be used for cutting.
Defective tiles should not be installed under any circumstances.
Once the tile fixer commences the job he has accepted (on the client’s behalf) the quality of the product. The tile fixer should be instructed (in writing if necessary), to cease work if defective products are discovered and to immediately contact the client who should in turn immediately contact the supplier. Work should not proceed in that particular area until the problem is resolved.
In general terms, suppliers will not recognise claims once tiles have been installed.
It is highly recommended that the site be visited regularly to check that –
▪ The tiles are being installed as instructed.
▪ Any defective tiles are not being installed.
▪ Discuss any issues that may have arisen and how they will be resolved.
Tip: To protect yourself against any misunderstanding it is advisable to take dated notes of all discussions and agreements that you have with your tiler.
It is highly recommended that the tiling job is inspected and is acceptable in all aspects before making any final payments.
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom on the Gold Coast with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display. Nerang Tiles aims to please every customer with the highest quality tiles and industry leading service. Customers are always advised to follow guidelines and double check all materials as well as their tilers work to ensure they get the best result.
Please contact Nerang Tiles should you have any questions about your tiles, the job before, during or after installation to see how we can assist and make sure your job is perfect.
A growing number of individuals take up the challenge associated with creation of their own tiling masterpiece. ATC members in all States and Territories can provide advice on tile installation practices. In addition they can supply tiling tools and related allied products including adhesive and grout.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of commercial and residential tile installations are completed by professional tile fixers.
Unfortunately tile layer registration, accreditation or endorsement is not compulsory in all States and Territories, so it is important to seek advice about reputable tradespersons who possess the necessary skills. ATC members in your area should be able to assist.
Before seeking their advice remember that some tile fixers specialise in laying specific products in certain environments. They may be totally competent working in domestic environments laying ‘regular tiles’, but inexperienced in commercial and industrial projects with different types of tile. Always ensure that they have gained appropriate experience laying the products you have in mind.
The following guidelines should assist.
You should agree on the price prior to any work starting.
Ask the tiler for their references, whether they are qualified and their trade experience.
▪ Did they arrive on time?
▪ Do they appear content to do the job?
▪ Do they appear to have time to do the job?
▪ Was the quotation delivered on time, fairly priced and did it cover all work required?
▪ Has the tile layer returned my calls?
▪ Am I comfortable with this person to handle my work?
Remember that workmanship includes presentation, minimum amount of inconvenience, cleanliness and overall professionalism.
If the quotation is fair, the references are good, the timing is suitable and you feel comfortable that the tile layer understands what you are trying to achieve, it should be safe to proceed.
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast tile showroom. Visit in store for the best tile advice and to find out more information about how to choose the right tiler for your job.
The Australian Tile Council (ATC) exists to protect, educate and enhance the tile industry for the benefits of its members. It provides education and information, supported by a 200-page technical manual and this Tiling Guide.
Importantly all of its members are expected to abide by the ATC Code of Ethics.
Most of Australia’s leading resellers of ceramic tiles are ATC members.
The ATC is a national body which has a strong presence in all States and Territories.
Home owners and design/construct professionals seeking advice about tile selection and installation should visit www.australiantilecouncil.com.au to discover a list of retailers in their vicinity.
The local ATC member can provide the correct information on tile selection for specific projects and further advice on the critical aspects of ‘Selecting Your Tiler’ and creating a ‘Tiling Checklist’.
Nerang Tiles is a proud member of the Australian Tile Council with its award winning tile showroom located on the Gold Coast. Nerang Tiles has over 5000 floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast tile showroom at discount prices.
Visit in store to see an award winning tile showroom and find the floor tile or wall tile that suits you.
Many people talk about porcelain tiles as if they are an alternative to ceramic tiles, when in actual fact porcelain products are ceramic and according to ISO 13006-2013; 4.3.2 – 2(i) classed as group B1a, defined by water absorption of no more than 0.5%. In general terms they are the best, most widely used ceramic products. Porcelain tiles are widely available for use in commercial and residential environments.
There are three prime types:
These tiles are unglazed and the surface finish permeates through the entire body of the tile. The tile body is dense and compact. The product is frequently specified for use in areas subjected to high levels of foot traffic. The surface finish can be textured. Matt and polished products can be mixed together to produce an appealing aesthetic. Matt products are slip resistant and practically impervious.
This process produces a highly reflective surface when the surface of a matt porcelain tile is polished. This produces tiles which can look like polished marble. In certain circumstances the polishing process may open the micro pores which are present in the tile body. This potentially makes the surface of the product more porous and in some instances the surface may require an appropriate ex factory or post installation sealing regime.
This relatively new technology allows manufacturers to add a gloss or matt glaze to the body of a natural porcelain tile. This makes it easier to clean the surface of the tiles, protects against water absorption and the ingress of grime or dirt. These highly regarded products are used in numerous residential and commercial environments.
Most glazed floor tiles are produced using the single firing (monocottura) process which simultaneously produces the body and the glaze. This process can be used with red or white body tiles. The tiles are formed by pressing. Several special firing techniques can be employed, including a form of dust pressing, in which the glaze is applied in powder form during the pressing process.
Glazed tiles are easy to clean, hard wearing and extremely resistant to staining.
White Body wall tiles (Terraglia)
White body tiles which are formed by pressing and subsequently fired twice, to produce decorative, relatively porous products which are frequently used on the walls.
Hard wearing, pressed, unglazed, red body products which are frequently used externally.
‘Cotto’ or ‘terracotta’ is probably the oldest ceramic product. The red (or pink) tile body is usually quite porous and it may be necessary to seal all six sides of the tiles. Terracotta is very durable, and is favoured in external environments. The body is normally formed by pressing, but it may be extruded. Decorated Cottoforte (known as Majolica) is fired once to form the body. A second firing is employed to add decoration.
Slim Porcelain tiles and panels
Radical new manufacturing processes have evolved over the last 15 years, which have enabled tile manufacturers to produce slim (3 mm to 7 mm) thickness porcelain products in tile formats which range from 300 x 300 mm to 1000 x 1000 mm, to 1600 x 3200 mm giant slim panels of porcelain that can be fixed to innumerable vertical and horizontal, internal and external surfaces. These lightweight, easy to handle materials can be used on building facades, kitchen bench tops or over sound existing floor and wall surfaces. This process can significantly reduce the costs associated with removal of existing tiles and subsequent surface restoration.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of quality floor tiles and wall tiles on display at discount prices in its Gold Coast tile showroom. With the most extensive selection of tiles in Queensland including all types of floor tiles and wall tiles such as timber tiles, marble tiles, stone tiles and much more.
Visit in store to see the entire tile selection.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CLEANING AFTER