So you are considering using ceramic or porcelain tiles for your wall or floor. What an excellent choice you have made! Ceramic tiles and even more so, porcelain tiles, are a beautiful and durable product that dates back thousands of years. Ceramic tiles that were laid back in the mid-century and ancient Egyptian times still exist today. However, there are a few things you should know and a few steps you should take before jumping in and buying and sort of tile.
Nerang Tiles has created this quick little guide to assist you in purchasing the perfect ceramic or porcelain tile for you are, whether it is a bathroom, kitchen or entire home.
Do Your Homework
Nerang Tiles suggests using the following steps before buying tiles:
Sticking to this process will help guarantee a smooth installation.
Many of the floor tiles and wall tiles available today are designed to look and feel like natural products such as stone or timber and will emulate their rugged surface and colour variations. These types of tiles are commonly internationally designed to show variations in colour and texture, just like the real natural products.
Why is the density of a tile important? Well different styles of tiles exhibit different gloss levels and surface textures. As an example, in areas that get what such as bathrooms and shower areas, you would want a floor and wall tile that has a low moisture absorption and good slip resistance. Just remember that most high quality porcelain tiles will have a 0.5% water absorption rate which is just as good as glass.
Normally, the more dense a floor tile or wall tile is then the amount of moisture a tile can absorb will decrease.
Here’s some terminology to help you decide:
Non-Vitreous Tiles absorb 7% or more moisture. They’re best suited for indoor use only.
Semi-Vitreous Tiles absorb from 3% to 7% moisture. They re best used indoors only.
Vitreous Tiles absorb less that 3% moisture. They are referred to as frost resistant tiles but can’t be used in exterior areas where freeze-thaw conditions might cause tile cracking.
Impervious Tiles have less than .5% moisture absorption. These tiles are frost proof and can be used outside or on building facades. If you have serious winter weather, these are the tiles for you.
Grout is important. You need grout and cannot avoid it. Australian standards require grout joints and if you want to avoid your tiles chipping and cracking in the future then you should at least have a 1.5mm grout joint between your tiles. This is to give the tiles a movement joint and some flexibility to move with the substrate in case the temperature causes the substrate to contract and expand.
When choosing grout color, it’s a good idea to select a colour that will blend in with the colour of the floor tile and wall tile. Sometimes its best to choose different colours for both floor and wall so that the colour of the grout matches the tile that it is next too. This will give your floor tiles or wall tiles a more continuous and seamless look.
Hint: If your tile is in a high traffic area or outdoors, use a darker colour grout and tile to avoid seeing the dirt and grime build up.
The exat grout joint recommended should be assessed on site by your tiler, the tiler will give you their recommendation on what grout joint is best for the type of application your area has and for the size of tile.
Once your tile has been laid and grouted, it’s up to you to guard all caulked areas against water damage. Grout may darken over time in areas with heavy water use.