We could spend all day talking about and explaining the numerous different interior design trends and styles available to select from that have been cultivated throughout history. There are so many choices so how do you know which one is right for you.
We could also pretend to be the best in the business but we are mere mortals in comparison to nationally recognised interior designers who are experts in this field. Rochele Decorating has already compiled a list of the most popular interior design styles and explained them so we can all understand.
Rochele have a great team of bright minds that are extremely customer focused and ready to work with you on your next project.
Here is Rochele's take on the 14 most popular interior design styles.
Modern, industrial, shabby chic….and the list goes on. A significant challenge many of our clients face is a lack of understanding or vocabulary to describe and define their personal interior design style. With an abundance of unique design styles, it can be daunting to decipher which style will work best for you. Some also enjoy combining elements of several styles to create their ideal look.
A great starting point for an interior design project is to learn a bit about each of the styles and how they differ from one another.
Modern is a broad design term that typically refers to a home with clean, crisp lines, a simple colour palette and the use of materials that can include metal, glass and steel.
Modern design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture. A word that’s commonly used to describe modern style is sleek, and there is not a lot of clutter or accessories involved with a modern style.
Modern and contemporary are two styles frequently used interchangeably. Contemporary is different from modern because it describes design based on the here and now.
The primary difference separating modern and contemporary design style is that modern is a strict interpretation of design that started in the 20th century. Contemporary on the other hand, is more fluid and can represent a sense of currency with less adherence to one particular style. For example, contemporary style may include curving lines, whereas modern design does not. You can refer to modern vs contemporary article for more information.
The minimalist concept is one that’s popular here in Australia. It takes notions of modern design and simplifies them further.
Colour palettes are neutral and airy; furnishings are simple and streamlined, and nothing is excessive or flamboyant in accessories or décor.
Minimalism is ultimately defined by a sense of functionality and ultra-clean lines.
Industrial style as the name implies, draws inspiration from a warehouse or an urban loft.
There’s a sense of unfinished rawness in many of the elements, and it’s not uncommon to see exposed brick, ductwork and wood. An iconic home with an industrial design theme would be a renovated loft from a former industrial building.
Think high ceilings, old timber and dangling metal light fixtures with sparse functional furniture. There may possibly be one or two pieces of abstract art or photography to add a dash of colour to an otherwise neutral colour scheme derived from the primary materials of wood and metals.
5. MID-CENTURY MODERN
Mid-century modern is a throwback to the design style of the mid-1900s—primarily the 1950s and 60s. There’s a retro nostalgia present in Mid-Century Modern Design, and also some elements of minimalism. Functionality or “fussy-free” was the main theme for Mid-century design. It emphasis on pared-down forms, natural or organic shapes such as “egg-shaped” chair, easy-to-use contemporary designs and simple fabrications. It easily complements any interior and also helps with seamless transition from interior to exterior.
Scandanavian design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design often feels like a work of art, although it is simple and understated. There’s functionality in the furniture along with some interesting lines, many of which have a sculptural influence.
Other common characteristics include all-white colour palettes and the incorporation of natural elements like form-pressed wood, bright plastics, and enameled aluminum, steel and wide plank flooring. If there are pops of colour it often comes from the use of art, natural fibre throws or furs, or a single piece of furniture.
Spacious, natural lighting, less accessories and functional furniture characterizes Scandinavian designs.
Traditional design style offers classic details, sumptuous furnishings, and an abundance of accessories. It is rooted in European sensibilities.
Traditional homes often feature dark, finished wood, rich colour palettes, and a variety of textures and curved lines. Furnishings have elaborate and ornate details and fabrics, like velvet, silk and brocade, which may include a variety of patterns and textures.
There’s depth, layering and dimensionality within most traditional designs.
Transitional is a very popular style because it borrows from both traditional and modern design to facilitate a space that’s not “too much,” in terms of one style or another. There’s a sense of balance that’s appealing and unexpected.
A transitional design may incorporate modern materials, such as steel and glass, and then unite them with plush furnishings.
Transitional design also includes relatively neutral colour palettes, creating a calming and relaxed space that manages to feel both stylish and sleek, as well as warm and inviting.
9. FRENCH COUNTRY
Warm, earthy colours are indicative of a French Country design style, as are worn and ornamental wooden furnishing. The style has an overarching farmhouse inspiration.
French Country design may include soft and warm tones of red, yellow or gold and natural materials like stone and brick. French Country design can include collections of ornate porcelain dishes and heavy linens and bed coverings.
Bohemian is a popular style for home design and fashion. It reflects a carefree lifestyle with little rules, except to follow your hearts desire.
Bohemian homes may include vintage furniture and light fixtures, globally inspired textiles and rugs, displays of collections, and items found in widely varied sources including flea markets and during one’s travels.
It’s not uncommon to spot floor pillows and comfortable seating spaces when incorporating the bohemian style. This eclectic style can incorporate an ultra-glam chandelier paired with a well-worn rug and a mid-century chair. Within the Bohemian style, there’s a laissez-faire attitude where anything goes as long as you love it.
Rustic design is drawn from natural inspiration, using raw and often unfinished elements including wood and stone.
Rustic design may incorporate accessories from the outdoors with warmth emulating from the design and architectural details that may include features like vaulted ceilings adorned with wood beams or reclaimed wood floors.
Many designs now integrate rustic design with more modern furnishings and accessories.
12. SHABBY CHIC
Shabby chic is vintage-inspired style, but compared to Bohemian and other styles, tends to be more feminine, soft and delicate.
Shabby chic furnishings are often either distressed or appear that way; paint tends to have antique-style finishes. The Shabby Chic colour palettes include white, cream and pastels. Light light fixture and wall hangings may be ornate and continue the feminine vibe of shabby chic design.
13. HOLLYWOOD GLAMA
l so referred to as Hollywood Regency, Hollywood Glam is a design style that tends to be luxurious, over-the-top and opulent. It’s a dramatic design style, perfect for a homeowner who enjoys making a statement.
This design style can incorporate some features of Victorian design, including plush, velvet furnishings, tufting and antiques. The colour palettes are particularly bold—think purples, reds and turquoise.
Coastal style also dubbed Hamptons style, hails from the iconic U.S. beachside area. Common features include light, airy colour palettes with cool neutral shades paired with blues and greens. Furnishings are often white or beige. The room can contain elements of wood and accessories are often inspired by the sea.
Blue and white striped patterns for pillows, large windows, white plush sofas, and painted white wood are also common fixtures of the classic Coastal/Hampton style.
The intention is to create a relaxed and comfortable environment that is inspired by the beach and ocean.
A rudimentary understanding of design fundamentals and styles can be a great help in solidifying your personal design ideals. The ability to identify different interior design styles will help you conjure up inspirational visions of your future home and provide a framework to build your personal aesthetic. With a vocabulary to express your inspired vision, magic happens!
Credit: Rochele Decorating
What is the ideal flooring you recommend for an investment property?
When renovating or building an investment property, choosing the right type of flooring is very important. You want something that is cost effective so it will provide a good return on your investment but still be of a high quality so the floor is durable, raises the property’s value and appeals to potential renters or buyers.
Investment properties normally see a lot of turnover and take a lot of abuse. Your main goal should be choosing flooring that is durable. Porcelain Tiles will hands down always be the best option for an investment property and here are a few reasons why:
Durability – Installing porcelain floor tiles will reduce maintenance.
Porcelain tiles have a 0.5% water absorption rate which makes them basically maintenance free. They are also frost, heat, odour, dirt and stain resistant while being difficult to crack or damage. With the original tiles still laid in many mid-century cathedrals, you can be reassured that a tiled flooring option will keep any flooring costs in the long term at a minimal.
Versatility – Aesthetics and ‘fit’ to an investment property are essential to appealing to your target market.
Porcelain tiles come in all shapes and sizes, finishes and textures. Choose polished tiles for a classy hotel feel, tiles that feel and look like timber for a warm cottage or ocean side villa or even stone or marble look tiles for a more rustic and authentic design.
Eco friendly – Tiles are made from raw materials such as clay, sand and glass.
These materials are combined with other recycled materials to form a porcelain tile. Porcelain tiles also act as insulation, helping to reduce energy bills by keeping properties cooler in summer and warmer during winter. Due to their dense ceramic clay bodies a ceramic or porcelain tile will adopt the temperature of the room which assists in keeping heating and cooling costs down.
Hygienic – Compared to many other flooring options, tiles do not trap or hide dirt or dust mites.
This makes tiles one of the most hygienic flooring options and allows investors with any allergies or concerns about hygiene factors of a home to consider your investment property a potential rental or purchase.
Practical – Do you need a non-slip surface for the pool surround?
Perhaps a decorative feature in the entrance? Maybe you want that marble or timber look but do not want the hassle of polishing, staining, sealing or cracking. When chosen correctly, porcelain tiles can be practically applied to any area to fit their design purpose, whether it is a cost effective floor, non-slip surface or feature floor design. Porcelain tiles are one of the most popular and widely used flooring choices used in residential and commercial buildings throughout Australia and around the world. The porcelain tile is also a popular choice for walls, back-splashes and more due to their range of colours, sizes and shapes.
Nerang Tiles believes porcelain tiles are the most ideal flooring for an investment property that will provide a higher rate of return long term than other flooring options.
What factors should an investor consider when choosing flooring?
Nerang Tiles has come up with our top 5 factors to consider when choosing flooring for an investment property.
Moisture – Will the flooring be installed in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry or basement? I
f your flooring will be exposed or submerged in water then you will need to consider a water resistant flooring option. If not, then any type of flooring will be suitable.
Durability – Will the investment property be pet friendly, have a high turnover or be subject to high foot traffic?
Research the durability of your flooring options as some that appear hardwearing are really not, particularly under the constant grind of large dog nails, children’s toys or high heels.
Cost – What is your budget?
Make sure you consider the upfront and ongoing costs associated with your flooring options. While some flooring options may be cheaper to purchase and lay initially, they may have high ongoing maintenance or repair expenses such as sealing, polishing or sanding.
DIY installation – Are you capable of installing the floor yourself?
It is always important to consider what you can do yourself as this will almost halve the cost of flooring. Research what skills and tools you need to install different flooring options and weigh those costs against the installation service and cons and pros of different flooring options long term.
Design – Will the flooring design appeal to everyone and stand the test of time?
When choosing your flooring it is important to ensure the design and type of flooring that will appeal to all potential investors to increase your target market. It is important to make sure the design is neutral and uses colours that are dateless. Flooring that combines or is uniform in grey, silver, white, black or chocolate tones tend to stay in fashion and appeal to the majority of home investors and renters.
In summary, when selecting the type of flooring for your investment property you should consider what will give you the best return on your investment. Porcelain tiles seem to be the most popular choice because of their strength and durability combined with their range of design, colour options and maintenance free characteristics.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at every price point. Visit Nerang Tiles to see the latest in tile trends and design with timber tiles, marble tiles, mosaic tiles, bathroom tiles, outdoor tiles, kitchen tiles, commercial tiles, pool tiles and much, much more on offer.
A range that reinterprets the original stone of northern Italy, a stone that takes shape from the country where it is extracted in the area of the Apuan Alps, which has always been used for important achievements thanks to its chromatic and material characteristics.
This unique floor and wall tile range contain different shade variations, veins and structures with direction. When laid by professional installers, in order to obtain the best blend of the colour, the factory advises taking the tiles alternatively from different boxes and laying down the orthogonally one to the other.
These tiles are also produced with a particular system in order to obtain reversed conic edges. The original characteristic of the side of the tile, produced with the reversed conic edges enables the installation with very small grout joints and gives the surface a sensation of continuity. To avoid possible chips it is recommended to pay the maximum attention and not to place the tiles vertically without their original packing.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile store with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Tile types available at Nerang Tiles include timber tiles, marble tiles, porcelain tiles, wall tiles, floor tiles, bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, mosaic tiles, pool tiles, outdoor tiles, commercial tiles, glass tiles and much more.
Fed up with scrubbing your kitchen and bathroom tile grout to clean those tiresome stains? Discovered that using vinegar or bleach and a toothbrush is exhausting and frustrating? We have a fast and no-mess grout cleaner for you. For white or coloured tiles, use a Grout Pen
The Rainbow Chalk Grout pen revives tired, dirty grout returning your tiles to their former glory and making your kitchen or bathroom beautiful again. What’s more, the anti-fungal formulation halts future mould and bacteria build up, keeping the steamier rooms in your home beautiful for longer. It works for both wall and floor tiling and we have two different nib sizes to cater for differing grout widths.
Not just for whitening, Grout Pens come in all colours of the Rainbow… almost!Beyond regular white grout pens we also stock black grout pens, brown, beige, grey and dark grey pens. All use our unique, water based ink formula, which is completely non-toxic and safe.
A single pen contains 7ml of ink, sufficient for 40m to 60m of tired old grout. To get started, simply pump to prime the pen. The ink flows until you stop using it. Re-prime to start again. Easy!
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile store with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Showcasing the latest in tile design and trends, Nerang Tiles also boasts stock of tiling supplies to fulfill all commercial, residential and DIY tiling applications.
The latest trend that was emerging in 2017 and is now in full swing in 2018 is the use of new tile products that are designed to look old and worn, almost as if they were fashioned from reclaimed ancient materials.
A perfect example of this is the application and wide use of timber look or wood look tiles. Timber look tiles are designed to appear to show the results of constant wear and tear of natural timber flooring. Porcelain and Ceramic tiles are technologically designed and manufactured to feature cracls and imperfections that are designed to enhance the authenticity and replication of the natural timber planks which seems to appeal.
The ongoing advancement and development of groundbreaking digital inkjet printing technologies has allowed porcelain and ceramic tile manufacturers to pursue perfection by producing batches which contain entirely unique pieces that do no look exactly alike. This has allowed flooring to replicate the inherent natural characteristics of natural stone and marble slabs as well as timber as if it was harvested from the forest.
It has also allowed existing buildings and places of high traffic use to install flooring products that already bear the marks of the passage of time to such an extent that the new porcelain tiles contain designed blemishes that replicate the effect of foot traffic, staining or scratching that would occur over time. The tiles are therefore installed and become part and parcel of the integrity of the existing floor space without noticing that they are new tiles.
The featured products can generally be used on walls and floors in a variety of residential and commercial applications.
As we have more swimming pools per capita than any other country in the world, it is no surprise that most of the publicity for the use of mosaic (specifically, glass mosaic) centres on our backyards. While we import a substantial volume of glass mosaic, not all of it ends up in pools.
In addition, we actually import more ceramic mosaic than glass, as well as increasing volumes of natural stone mosaic, particularly marble. A considerable proportion of these products are destined for use in a wide variety of environments. This demonstrates that mosaic is flexible in more ways than one. It can be used to add a subtle or bold flourish of colour to any wall or floor tiling composition, or it can be used to clad the façade of a building.
Mosaic predates the Classical civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome. It actually dates back more than 4000 years to the use of terracotta cones that were pressed into a background point first to create primitive decoration. The Greeks mastered the art of using small stone pebbles to fashion geometric and floral designs approximately 2400 years ago. This art form literally represented painting in stone.
Ultimately, the Romans refined this practice and introduced schools for mosaicists in many parts of their empire. While a number of the best preserved mosaics are located in Pompeii (executed in some instances by Greeks) there are many fine Roman mosaics elsewhere in Europe and Africa.
Natural stone is still used for the same reasons that the Ancients built temples, palaces and monuments from stone. An early Megaron catalogue stated: “Mosaic is neither a minor form of art, nor a subaltern one, but it remains a primary noble expression, designated to less perishable works, which indicate ‘magnificence and significance”.
Today, it is entirely possible to use digital inkjet technology to add any digital image to the surface of a ceramic, glass or stone mosaic. However, sustained interest in the art of creating unique handcrafted mosaics is confirmed by the presence of mosaic schools in towns and cities across the globe. Striking mosaics can be created using ceramic, natural stone, glass and metal tesserae (cubes) or a combination of one or more of these materials.
There are no design limitations. No other hard surface finish compares to mosaic in relation to its flexibility, which means that designs can easily flow over convex and concave surfaces, and around curves and pillars.
The simple removal of a single tessera from a sheet of mosaic, and its replacement with one of another colour, can represent the first step in creating an inimitable design. These designs can be used in public spaces, commercial buildings and hotels and private residences. Let us look at some examples of how and where mosaic has been used to good effect.
A lightweight sheet of mosaic is easy to handle and cut. When you couple these attributes with the massive potential for creative design, it is hardly surprising that architects and designers are often encouraged to specify mosaic for use on building facades. Photos 1 and 2 depict use of more than 20,000 square metres of Ezarri glass mosaic, which flows over the curved and undulating surface of Europe’s second largest building. Architects Dominique and Phillipe Renaud specified a cascading blend of mosaic to decorate this landmark structure in Paris.
Public and commercial
Photo 3 highlights sensational use of Bisazza glass mosaics which were designed by the Uncarved Block for use in the Melbourne Food Court. The designs were created in Bisazza’s studio in Italy. The product was supplied by Academy Tiles, NSW. Architectural design firm Ashton, Raggatt, McDougall handled the $260 million renovation of Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. The mural, which is one of the largest ever installed in Australia, features numerous colourful butterflies, rabbits, ants and a rather startling owl.
Natural stone mosaic is frequently used in the entrance to banks, hotels and commercial premises in conjunction with marble and granite. The prime decoration often appears in the form of an emblem (or emblemata), which can be hand drawn by a mosaic artist, and assembled in accordance with their instructions, or it can be designed using CAD. Photo 4 features an emblem in a field of green marble installed at the Hall Harbour Building, Hong Kong.
The bathroom Mosaic can be used to tile all the surfaces of a bathroom, or a single feature wall. In many instances it is employed as a simple, but effective vertical stripe or horizontal band of colour, which provides relief to fully tiled monochrome expanses of plain tiles. For example, Photo 5 features 25 by 50mm glazed porcelain tesserae combined with 320 by 550mm satin white wall tiles.
Many sheeted mosaics feature products, which are larger than the conventional 10 to 50mm tesserae, are typically regarded as mosaic. Some sheeted mosaic pieces are as large as 100 x 100mm.
At the other end of the scale, Photo 6 illustrates precisely why mosaic is a truly remarkable product, which has endless design potential. This intriguing concept, which appeared on The Block, features Bisazza glass mosaic carefully cut and installed to create an optical illusion that winds its way up the back wall of the shower enclosure and gradually disappears. Note how the same material is used to frame the mirror.
Incredibly, Photo 7 goes a step further in terms of creativity. This amazing concept which imitates the curve of a crashing wave was created by Edward Lowe of Bisazza Australia.
The small but critical space between the floor and wall cabinets often provides the prime focal point in kitchen design. Three to five square metres of carefully chosen mosaic or tile can often make or break the whole design proposal. Photo 8 depicts a field of Everstone 25 x 25mm mosaic pieces with 100 x 100mm glass insets. The vivid colours of the glass contrast with and complement the solidity of the granite benchtop.
Bathrooms and kitchens in private residences and hotels are prime environments for use of mosaic. However, the product can be used to good effect in other locations, including feature walls in entrances and living rooms where use of an appropriate design can provide a breathtaking aesthetic (Photo 9). Wherever curved surfaces present a challenge, mosaic can provide a solution by flowing seamlessly over difficult surfaces (Photos 10 and 11).
We began our review by focusing on mosaic used to clad the façade of Europe’s second largest building. We have deliberately avoided swimming pools to emphasise that ceramic, glass and natural stone mosaics can be applied in myriad other external and internal environments. Designs can be as simple or as complex as you like. Photo 12 illustrates use of black and white glazed ceramic mosaic on the exterior and top of a barbecue.
We finish by highlighting how a large customised mosaic mural was produced from a 10 centimetre square computergenerated design, which was digitally modified to create an arresting feature in a private residence in Dalkeith, Western Australia (Photo 13).
While many ceramic tile manufacturers steadily increase their focus on large format products, interest in miniscule mosaics remains strong, simply because the product is an elemental building block, which has infinite design possibilities that can be adapted to almost any vertical or horizontal surface.
Click here to view magazine article with images.
Credit: Tile Today by Elite Publishing Co Pty Ltd
Top tips before you start your DIY tiling renovation4/16/2016
Prepare your tile surface
Before tiling any surface you have to prepare it for tiling. Start by making sure your surface is dry, clean and smooth. If you are tiling a wet area such as a bathroom or kitchen then you should also waterproof the area straight and flush.
Choose the right adhesive
Choose the right adhesive (glue) for the space you are tiling. There are many different brands and types of adhesives on the market and they are all designed for specific tiles and tiling surfaces. Cheap or discounted glues may decay and cause tiles to crack over time, so it is worth doing your research and investing in a high quality adhesive so you do not incur further costs in the future.
Choose the right tile size
It does not matter what they tell you, size does matter. Tiling with big tiles is difficult even for the most skilled tilers in the tile industry. Large format tiles are heavy and expensive to replace if mistakes are made or damaged, so DIY renovations should stick to tiles no bigger than 300 x 300 if on a budget. Unless of course you can pick up beautiful 600 x 600 or other formats for a great price.
Make sure you draw a plan of your area not just for size but to visualise what the end result will be and where the tiles will go. Taking the time to draw lines and mark measurements on walls will make things easier in the long run.
Use the right tools
Spare a bit of money and purchase the right equipment to use what the professional tilers use. This will ensure that your job looks professionally done. If you are tiling pressed or round edged tiles then you can lay them using the basic trowel only. However if you are tiling rectified tiles then you should invest in the various types of leveling systems to make sure you do not get any uneven joints or lippage which can be a trip hazard and be aesthetically unappealing.
You should wait at least 24 hours after laying your tiles before grouting them. In the meantime, try covering your tiles with a clear plastic sheet or with the boxes that they came in to protect them from any grime and the weather. Remember not to grout in between the joints between the wall and the floor or where two walls meet. Silicone is commonly used for this area. Apply the silicone after the grout job has dried.
For more information on how to tile, advice on the right tools and of course for the largest range of quality discounted tiles in Queensland, visit the Nerang Tiles award winning showroom on the Gold Coast. The Nerang Tiles staff are always available to assist with their professional tile knowledge
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of wall tiles and floor tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. With over 30 years in operation, Nerang Tiles boats the largest tile range in Queensland displaying everything from timber tiles, marble tiles, bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, pool tiles and much much more with the experience to match its great range.
The HIDE Drain Cover is a solution to concealing your exterior surface water drainage outlet. The cover is designed to be lined or filled with the surrounding surface material. This makes the drain cover inconspicuous and virtually disappears. Sizing has been standardized to conform to exterior patio spaces and standard drainage piping. The HIDE Drain Cover is available in 3 depths suitable for infill material with a thickness of 10/12mm, 20mm, and 30mm.
The HIDE Drain Cover is made up of three components:
The five sided tray to support the inlay, made of 316 marine grade stainless sized at 300mm x 300mm.
The HIDE Drain Recess Frame supports and centres the lid and allows 1.2 metres of 5-6mm clearance for water flow. The size of the frame is 314mm square with the depth 8mm more that the tray required by the selected infill material. The Recess Frame base opening size is 220mm square.
The stainless steel key to allow easy access for regular maintenance, cleaning or clearing the water intake slots.
Water flow and drainage capacities will vary based on your individual site requirements including, square meterage, gradient and weather conditions. Consult your plumber for specific product suitability and requirements.
Nerang Tiles is a multi award winning tile showroom with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles including a great range of tiling supply products on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Visit in store today for exclusive tile and tool discounts.
The past few years has witnessed a surge in the demand for stone effect tiles largely due to advances in printing technology that have allowed the creation of much more realistic and sophisticated looking products. This, coupled with increasing consumer appetite for low maintenance products, has seen consumer turn in increasing numbers to stone effect porcelain tiles; a trend that shows no signs of abating.
There can be no doubt that much of this popularity is also down to consumer lifestyle choices. Australia is a nation of busy people who are constantly on the go and porcelain tiles are durable, suitable for high traffic areas of the home and much easier to look after and clean than its natural stone counterparts, which usually require sealing or ongoing specialist treatment.
Manufactured using ultra fine porcelain clay fired at extremely high temperatures, porcelain stone effect tiles are much harder, denser and less porous than natural stone and, therefore, less susceptible to damage from the elements. This means they need less maintenance and are harder wearing, and they don't require sealing or treatments to keep their look or finish in top condition.
Porcelain tiles are also produced to specific standards, ensuring quality, consistency and uniform sizing, while virtually eliminating defects that would occur with natural stone, making them easier for the installer to lay and much harder to chip or crack.
As a result, ceramic stone effect tiles are both practical and versatile making them an established best seller for retailers.
When it comes to fitting, ceramic tiles are also easy to cut and install, and require no special treatment or maintenance; selling points that really appeal to consumers.
With so many different shapes, sizes, colour and finishes now available, driven by the advances in manufacturing techniques, particularly digital inkjet printing, it is clear to see why so many homeowners favour stone effect ceramic tiles over the natural alternative.
However, while offer the customer a choice of designs that might not be within their budget if they were to use real stone, research shows that consumers find the process of choosing tiles difficult, so, for retailers, education and informative in store marketing is key.
Credit: Tile Today, International correspondent, Joe Simposn.
Glass mosaic tiles are popular for their unmatched variety and visual appeal. Their non-porous attributes justifies their use in wet areas as in kitchen tiles, bathroom flooring and pool tiles. They make an excellent choice for artistic mosaic floors and wall murals in living spaces. If you are undecided on whether you should go for glass mosaic tiles, read further to appreciate the benefits they offer.
The visual properties of glass are responsible for giving glass mosaic tiles a charming luminous quality which draws the eye. Tiles are available in a broad palette of colours and easily acquired from tile stores. They may also have effects like the integration of a metallic shimmer which makes them very appealing. Mirrored tiles are also available.
The light reflective properties of glass and the possibility to regulate its transparency allow these tiles to be integrated with lighting for dramatic effect. Even by day, the tiles have a glow and add zest and cheer to the interior environment.
Glass mosaic tiles easily impart a decorative look to any setting. They may be used in large expanses or even smaller stretches like frames and borders to create ornamental accents.
One can be very creative and adventurous when using glass mosaic tiles. An interesting effect can be created by combining glass mosaic tiles with other materials like stone to contrast the textures and luminosity of the different materials.
The small size of tiles allows greater flexibility and control in creating designs
Durability and maintenance
Glass is a stable non-porous material. This makes it resistant to staining and damage by chemicals or mould. They are therefore well-suited for places which can be damp and moist.
Glass mosaic tiles have superior colour retention qualities.
Unlike other materials of decorative value, glass tiles do not need much time to be invested in their maintenance. They only require a regular wiping down to remove any dust build up or superficial staining. One must ensure that a soft cloth is used for wiping and mild detergents may be used to remove any oil build-up.
Another advantage of glass mosaic tiles which is relevant to the environment at large is the reduced energy required for production. The energy consumption may be about half of that required for manufacturing ceramic tiles.
A more eco-friendly version is the availability of recycled glass mosaic tiles. This is a great alternative for those with an environmentally conscious outlook.
Credit: A M Nikos
A new collection now available at Nerang Tiles is a collection inspired by nature at its purest and most unspoilt; by the harmonies it conceals within and the silences it preserves intact. This is the nature the collection has studied and tamed, in the true sense of the word, without diminishing its power or that tangible, vibrant spirit that lives within our natural surroundings.
Timber tiles are an incredible alternative to the natural timber floor coverings traditionally used. Porcelain Tiles in itself are hard wearing, durable, stain and scratch resistant and a natural insulator to cold and hot temperatures.
A timber tile is the result of modern inkjet technology that allows porcelain stoneware and tiles to adopt any image imaginable. You need to see timber tiles in real life to believe it, they look and feel just like timber but are not flammable, don't stain and require very little maintenance.
See the timber tile range in store at the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom. Nerang Tiles has one of the largest timber tile ranges in Queensland on display.
How to tile a floor
This text guide is designed for the DIY tiling enthusiast and covers the essential things you need to tile a floor.
What tools do you need?
When your tiling a floor you will need to make sure the floor / substrate has a damp course. If the floor does not have a damp course then you will need to use a waterproofing or priming product. These products are designed to prevent any water getting trapped underneath the floor overtime or from water rising from underneath the floor. Another important aspect to consider is the height of your doors, cupboards and other fixtures in the home. Tiles can be quite thick and you may need to consider trimming any existing fixtures.
Tools for tiling a floor
Most tile preparation and adhesive products such as primers, grouts, cleaners and adhesives contain harsh chemicals. Protective gear and caution should always be used when dealing with these products.
How to apply tile adhesive
The first step to applying your tiles to the floor is to mix your adhesive using your power drill and bucket. All adhesive products should have detailed instructions for the method and quantities to be mixed. This usually includes how much water you need to add to your adhesive. Take note of the pot life of the adhesive as well, this is important so you do not mix too much adhesive at once and have it set over time in your bucket.
The type of adhesive you choose to use will depend on the area you are tiling as well as the type of tile you have selected. Please consult a tiler or your tile sales representative for further information and tips. Adhesive bags will commonly have a phone number you can also call to ask specific questions regarding the product.
Before you apply your adhesive to the floor you must ensure that you have marked out your tile lines using a tile marker pen. There are many different techniques to applying adhesive to either your tile or floor to lay your floor tiles. However we recommend applying two tiles worth of adhesive at a time using a notched trowel.
Place a suitable amount of adhesive on the floor using your notched trowel and spread it out thickly to cover the surface area of your tile. Your notched trowel should be placed at a 45 degree angle when applying it to the floor. Use slow movement towards you to spread the adhesive. The notched trowel you have selected will also determine the thickness of your adhesive.
How to apply the tiles
Once the adhesive is applied and has been spread on the floor using your notched trowel then you are ready to applying your tiles. When laying your tile onto the adhesive, grab hold of the middle of the tile on both sides if possible and lay it gently against the adhesive within the boundaries you have marked. Place a little bit of pressure on the tile and wiggle it so that it pushes further into place and to release any trapped air.
To ensure the tile is level, you can use a spirit level and place it on top of the tile or tile levelling clips and wedges after applying a few tiles.
Repeat the process with all tiles. Once two or more tiles are laid, you can start placing the tile spacer or levelling clips between tiles at the top and bottom to create an even space. The tile levelling clips will do both create the space for grout and level the tiles. Make sure you have a bucket of water and sponge nearby, sometimes it can be common for adhesive to get on the top of tiles and you will need to wash it off before it dries.
How to apply grout
Once all the tiles are laid the next part of your DIY tiling project is to apply the grout. The type of adhesive you have used will determine how long you have to wait before grouting or before any foot traffic can go over the laid tiles. The type and colour of the grout will also depend on the tile and size of the grout gap.
Grouting is very simple. Just follow the mixing instructions on the grout bag to make sure you use an appropriate ration and amount of water and grout in a mixing bucket. A good consistency of grout when mixing is similar to that of cream or cream cheese, not too runny and not too thick.
Once your grout has been mixed you can then apply it into the grout joints using a grout float at a 45 degree angle. Remember to clean any excess grout as you go along.
When applying the grout ensure you're pushing the grout float against the grout gaps to ensure all gaps are filled. Be cautious not to make these gaps too thick.
Remember that the above information is general advice only and your specific situation may be different depending on a number of different factors. Nerang Tiles recommends seeking professional advice for your specific situation.
Ceramic tile is not only beautiful, it is also healthy for your home. It contains none of the chemicals that have been in the news associated with other flooring products, and it is long lasting, easy to clean, fire safe, and offers many slip resistant choices.
Made of clay and other naturally occurring minerals: free of formaldheyde, VOCs, and PVC.
Ceramic tile does not contain the chemicals in other floor coverings that are receiving increased attention for their possible adverse health effects, such as formaldehyde, VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
Zero VOCs. Some VOCs emitted by non ceramic building products can contribute to a wide variety of health problems and sick building syndrome, according to various health experts. Because ceramic tile is fired at extremely high temperatures, producing an inorganic material, it has zero VOCs.
Formaldehyde-Free. Ceramic tile contains non of the formaldehyde found in some other floor coverings. Formaldehyde is a chemical long associated with respiratory disorders, and exposure is a particular concern for children and the elderly, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, formaldehyde emissions for several wood based building and flooring products have been federally restricted since 2011 under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act. As a fired product, ceramic tile is formaldehyde free and not subject to this or any other such restriction.
PVC Free. Ceramic tile is also free from PVC, a resin used in other types of floor coverings, and regularly a subject of concern and discussion among health experts.
The easy solution for flooring? Use ceramic tile, which is free of VOCs, formaldehyde and PVC.
Of the many flooring choices available, ceramic tile stands out when slip/fall safety is a consideration because of the thousands of floor tile choices that are slip resistant when wet. This is in stark contrast to flooring that, according to their manufacturers must be kept dry in order to be slip resistant.
Additionally, ceramic tile is non flammable and does not produce smoke in a fire, meeting the flame spread and smoke development requirements of various International Buildings Codes for interior wall and ceiling materials.
The certified Environmental Product Declaration for North American made ceramic tile shows that North American made ceramic tile has the lowest environmental impact across all impact categories, when compared to other flooring with generic EPDs evaluated under the same conditions.
Nerang TIles is a multi awarding winning tile showroom with the largest and most awarded tile showroom based on the Gold Coast. Visit Nerang Tiles to gain a better insight into tile ranges, quality, health benefits and to see the incredible wall and floor tile range at the Nerang Tiles Gold Coast Tile Showroom.
Purpose To advise building industry practitioners about the role of Forms 15 and 16 in building assessment, approval and inspection processes.
There is some confusion in the industry about the role of Forms 15 and 16 since the changes to the building laws in September 2006. This newsflash outlines when and how Forms 15 and 16 are intended to work, and provides answers to frequently asked questions relating to the mandatory approved Forms 15 and 16.
When and how Forms 15 and 16 apply
The Building Regulation 2006 enables competent persons and Queensland Building Services Authority (QBSA) licensees to give help to building certifiers in the assessment of a building application and inspection of building work.
The decision to seek the help of a competent person or rely on a QBSA licensee certificate can only be made by the building certifier assessing the application or inspecting the building work.
Only after the building certifier has assessed the person as competent can the building certifier use the help of a competent person. This help is defined in the Building Regulation 2006 as design/specification help and inspection help. If a building certifier does not seek or rely on design, specification or inspection help, there is no need to obtain forms 15 or 16.
Competent persons give design/specification help and inspection help by certifying that:
• Form 15—A building design or specification will, if installed or carried out under the certificate, comply with the relevant building laws; or
• Form 16—That an aspect of building work complies with the building approval and the relevant building laws.
QBSA licensees can also help building certifiers by certifying that aspects of building work performed by QBSA licensees comply with the building development approval and therefore Queensland’s building laws (also Form 16).
Since 1 September 2006, a building certifier can rely on a certificate given by a QBSA licensee without first having to assess the licensee as a competent person. QBSA licensees are assessed by the Building Services Authority as competent to hold a licence for the work performed. The amendment to the legislation removes any duplication that required a building certifier to also assess the licensee as competent.
A building certifier may accept and rely on certificates (Form 15 and Form 16) in carrying out their building certifying functions, that is, assessing a building application and inspecting and certifying building work.
For some building applications, the design of building components, systems and materials may be outside of the scope of the expertise of the building certifier to assess. The Building Regulation 2006 (BR) enables certifiers to rely on competent persons to assess and certify those components of the building application, outside of the expertise of the building certifier, as complying with the building laws. This certification can only be given on Form 15.
The assessment of some building applications will be entirely within the expertise of the certifier. In these instances Form 15 is not required. Likewise, inspection of certain aspects of construction may also be within the expertise of the certifier. In these instances Form 16 is not required for that aspect.
Legislation Form 15 Building Act 1975
Section 10 sets out that the giving of a certificate in the approved form is a building certifying function.
Section 50 sets out the restrictions applying to class B building certifiers in relation to giving compliance certificates. Building Regulation 2006
Section 46 provides that a competent person may give a building certifier a certificate that a building design or specification will comply with building assessment provisions.
Section 48 sets out the specific requirements for certificates, including the need for them to be in the approved form. Form 16 Building Regulation 2006
Section 32 requires that a certificate of inspection must be given to the builder if the work inspected is satisfactory and that it must be in the approved form.
Section 43 provides that a QBSA licensee may give a building certifier a certificate in the approved form that an aspect of building work complies with the building development approval.
Section 44 provides that a QBSA licensee may give a certificate in the approved form that an aspect of self-assessable building work complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Queensland Development Code (QDC) or any relevant alternative provisions of the QDC.
Section 46 provides that a competent person may give a building certifier a certificate that a building design or specification will comply with building assessment provisions.
Section 47 provides that a competent person may give a certificate in the approved form certifying that an aspect of building work complies with the building development approval.
Are Forms 15 and 16 mandatory?
Yes. The BR requires that any certificate given by a building certifier or a competent person about a building design or inspection must be in the approved form if it is to be relied on by a building certifier to perform building certifying functions. Forms 15 and 16 have been approved by the chief executive under section 254 of the Building Act 2006 (BA) and are available on the Departments web site at http://www.lgp.qld.gov.au/?id=287 .
It should be noted that even though the forms are mandatory, Forms 15 and 16 may not be required if the work is within the expertise of the certifier. The certifier does not need to decide a QBSA licensee is competent to give inspection help provided they are appropriately licensed to carry out work in the aspect.
When must Forms 15 and 16 be used?
Form 15 must be used when a competent person is requested to provide a certificate for the matters relating to the design/specification help they are giving to a building certifier. The certificate provided must cover such things as the design of a particular material, system, method of building or that a building element complies with the BCA or a provision of the QDC.
Form 16 must be used when a building certifier, competent person or a QBSA licensee inspects a stage or aspect of building work and certifies it is satisfactory.
Does the signature on Forms 15 and 16 have to be an original?
Any Form 15 or 16 given by a building certifier, competent person or QBSA licensee is required to be signed. Generally the provisions of the Electronic Transaction (Queensland) Act 2001 allow a copy of a signed document to be accepted by a person the certificate is to be given to. However, the person receiving the certificate has the discretion to accept a copy of the certificate or request it with an original signature.
The person required to sign a certificate is the person the building certifier has decided is competent to give design/specification or inspection help. For QBSA licensees where the company is licensed, it is acceptable to have the licensed nominee or other person authorised by the company to sign the certificate.
Can Forms 15, 16 or any approved Forms be changed?
No. The information required in all approved forms is the minimum information required by legislation. The versions of the forms on the Department’s web site are the current approved forms and all relevant sections are to be completed.
Forms 15 and 16 make provision for other material such as specifications, standards, codes or other publications etc to be referenced to. If the space on a form is not sufficient to accommodate all of this material, you can refer to this material in an addendum or attachment.
However, the forms are approved in a Microsoft Word version so you can download the forms and add material directly to the particular parts of the form. Including a large volume of material on a form may mean the item boxes on the forms are extended. This is acceptable and does not change the approved form.
Can Form 15 be used for standard or generic designs?
Yes. Form 15 can be used to certify standard or generic designs of materials, systems, methods of building or that building elements comply with the BCA or a provision of the QDC.
The certificate must set out the parameters and any limitations for the design such as the range of soil conditions or wind loads in accordance with relevant Australian Standards. The building certifier must ensure the proposed building work does not exceed these parameters.
Due to the nature of standard or generic designs, specific property descriptions will not always be known. In these cases it is not necessary to complete the property description details. However, where these details are known or the design is produced as a ‘one-off’ or is specific to a particular site, it is important to provide the property description details.
Do architects and designers have to use Form 15?
No. It is not intended architects and building designers have to provide a Form 15 for the overall design of a building. Form 15 is intended to be used for the design of particular systems or components within a building that are outside of the building certifier’s expertise. Examples of these are systems and components such as concrete footings and slabs, mechanical air handling or fire alarm systems etc.
Does Form 15 apply to the design of components such as trusses?
The design of truss systems are engineered components within a building that may require certification by a competent person. One of the certificates required at the final stage of construction for a house relates to prefabricated frames (if applicable) and roof trusses. Before accepting the certificate, the certifier must have decided the person responsible for the design of the frame or truss system is competent.
In some cases an engineer may be considered a competent person to give a certificate about the design of a prefabricated frame or truss system. However, most frame and truss manufacturers use ‘detailers’ within their organisations to design systems using predetermined computer software packages. There is currently no requirement in Queensland for a detailer to be licensed or registered to carry out the design of prefabricated frames or truss systems. A certifier can accept a detailer as a competent person for the design of frame and truss systems provided they are satisfied they have skills and experience in using relevant software packages.
How do I clarify that the work I have inspected and certified is only for an aspect?
Item 1 on Form 16 has provisions to indicate if the certificate relates to a stage or aspect of building work. An example of an aspect of building work covered by item 1 of Form 16 is the excavation and reinforcement in the footing stage. Further detail about the actual components being covered by Form 16 can be set out in item 4.
Item 9 requires that a person sign the form and indicate if they are a building certifier, competent person or a QBSA licensee. For the building certifier and competent person, they are certifying the building work they have inspected meets the requirements set out in the approval by the building certifier and the relevant Australian Standards or codes. In the case of a QBSA licensee, the person is certifying the work carried out complies with the particular aspect they are responsible for.
In Item 7 of Form 15, am I certifying the whole building complies with the Building Act 1975?
No. The reference to the BA in item 7 of Form 15 does not mean the whole building complies with the BA. This reference is taken to mean that a particular material, system, method of construction or a component of building work complies with the ‘building assessment provisions’. Section 30 of the BA sets out what the building assessment provisions are. They include documents such as the BCA and QDC which in turn refer to certain Australian Standards or other technical provisions.
Form 15 makes provisions to clearly describe the extent of the work being certified and the basis of the certification. The basis of the certification allows the person giving the certificate to nominate any relevant Australian Standard or specific provisions of the BCA or QDC that may be applicable.
The purpose of Form 15 is to certify the components identified in the certificate. Items 2, 3 and 4 of Form 15 provide the person giving the certificate the opportunity to clearly identify the extent of certification and the components it applies to.
Who is responsible for certifying other aspects of the building?
Other aspects of building work can be certified by other competent persons, QBSA licensees or the building certifier responsible for the building development approval.
In the case of houses, the building certifier is responsible for arranging an inspection of a stage of construction after receiving a notice to inspect from the builder. For the footing and final stages, the building certifier must be satisfied all relevant aspects are satisfactory before issuing a certificate of inspection. The certifier may rely on certificates about the aspects from competent persons, QBSA licensees or carry out the inspection themselves.
For the slab and frame stages the certifier may also rely on certificates about the aspects from competent persons, QBSA licensees or carry out the inspection themselves. If a building certifier relies on a competent person to inspect these stages, the competent person must be satisfied all aspects are satisfactory. For example, if a termite management system is being placed under the slab, that competent person must also be satisfied with the system. They may also rely on certificates from other competent persons, QBSA licenses or carry out the inspection themselves.
Can a competent person (inspections) sign a certificate of inspection for a frame and slab stage?
Yes. A competent person (inspections) can sign the certificate of inspection for the slab and frame stage of construction. Section 21 of the BR only restricts competent persons from signing certificates of inspection for the footing and final stages of construction unless they are a building certifier.
Credit to Queensland Government, Building Codes Queensland, Building Newsflash "Form 15 and 16 Questions and Answers". Issued: 16 January 2007.
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.