Starlike Night Vision
Metallic tiles, finishes, and grouts add a sophisticated look, and come in a range of textures and styles. Whether smooth and reflective or weathered looking, metallic tiles can offer a stylish alternative to the traditional look of tile. Found in shades of gold, bronze, silver, and pewter, metallic tiles and finishes create an opulent look that can be used in mosaics, on backsplashes, and even on walls and in bathrooms.
This component can be added to the following colours in the Starlike range: Silver-C.220, Travertino-C.290, Sabbia-C.250, Avorio-C.520, Tortora-C.-490, Azzurro Pastello-C.530, Turchese-C.400, Artic Blu-C.390, Zaffiro-C.260, Verde Salvia-C.540, Lime-C.440, Corallo-C.230, Lilla-C.380, Ciclamino-C.370.
Inquire within for price. Freight charges may apply.
The world’s top tile and stone manufacturers showcased increasingly ambitious products this year. By Paul Keskeys
The first thing you notice about Coverings, arguably the world’s premier trade show for contemporary tile products, is its size. It is VAST. Attending this year’s event in Atlanta, Georgia, a grand total of 26,000 industry professionals from around the globe showcased their latest tile offerings, each looking to stand out from their competitors and win the hearts of designers and contractors alike. It’s no wonder: U.S. ceramic tile consumption in 2017 was $3.65 billion, up 5.8% on the previous year. That’s a record high, and while this presents an amazing opportunity for manufacturers, it’s also a fairly mindboggling marketplace for architects to navigate.
With this in mind, Architizer embarked on a mission to distill Coverings down to the key trends that designers should watch out for as they search for tile products during the coming year. Looking closely at offerings from the major North American, Spanish and Italian brands, certain key patterns emerged relating to texture, scale, color and custom finishes.
While each brand exhibited its own unique style, the following four trends were particularly notable on the show floor: rich, natural textures; large format, super thin slabs; high-contrast colors and warm shades; and metallic finishes. Here, we take a look at each trend and highlight some of the brands that are leading the way this year.
Rich, Natural Textures
Tile manufacturers have long been working on techniques to produce textured finishes that imitate raw materials like metal and wood, but many brands took this art to new levels at Coverings 2018. Numerous manufacturers showcased weathered effects inspired by antiquated wood and rusted steel, each with more depth and tonal variation than previous years.
Among the highlights in this category was Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s “Oxidart” tile series, which mimics the look of weathered steel in stunning fashion. Offered in silver, iron, copper and black variations, the immense depth and texture of these tiles makes them a must for any architect in love with corten steel.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino also presented an extraordinary wood-effect tile that replicates the appearance of polished oak so accurately that it proved challenging to tell the two materials apart at the show.
Another renowned Italian brand — Cooperativa Ceramica D’Imola — brought generous helpings of industrial chic to the show in the shape of Tube, a collection of muted metallic finishes that appear time-worn and effortlessly stylish in equal measure.
In contrast, Florim — the overall “Best in Show” winner at Coverings — combined the classic look of rustic wood with a high gloss finish with its Cerim collection, introducing a welcome twist to the many wood-effect tile floor planks being exhibited.
Large Format, Super Thin Slabs
Modern manufacturing processes now allow tiles to be created at an unprecedented scale. Many brands exhibited continuous marble, stone and ceramic surfaces from floor to ceiling, ideal for high-end hotel lobbies and sleek commercial applications. While unfathomably large in width and height, these slabs can now be made surprisingly thin, keeping their weight to a minimum to aid installation on façades and interior walls as well as floors.
Vermont Quarries presented some of its most striking slabs of Danby marble, its premium “Class A” quality making it suitable for a wide variety of applications including interior, exterior, residential and commercial applications. Subtle variations in hue are available, including Appalachian Green, Danby Gray, Verde Cavendish and Olympian White.
Another standout booth in this category belonged to Spanish manufacturer Inalco, which showed off its natural finishes with elegant tile-clad obelisks. Inalco’s large-format ceramic tiles — including Pacific, Azalai and Jasper finishes — are produced with jaw-dropping dimensions of up to 3 meters by 1 meter (118.11 inches by 59.05 inches).
Similarly, Tau Ceramica exhibited a series of huge tiles suitable for commercial use, and demonstrated its innovative Asala tile — an induction cooking slab that allows users to prepare, cook and eat their meals from a single surface.
Finally, Cotto d’Este’s spectacular Wonderwall series showcased the potential of custom printing for large format tiles. Printed on a series of story-high Kerlite panels, each displaying high-resolution graphics including text, floral prints and even figurative images. Measuring just 3.5 mm thick and reinforced with fiberglass mesh, Wonderwall demonstrates that interior wall tiles can double as genuine works of art.
High Contrast Colors and Warm Shades
Punctuating the natural cream and gray tones of the larger format slabs, bold color combinations stood out among the smaller-scale tile offerings. A number of brands exhibited contemporary takes on traditional black and white tile combinations, while warm pink, yellow and teal tones added a flash of color to proceedings.
American Wonder Porcelain introduced color and contrast with more traditional geometric motifs, its DECO tile collection being offered in “sizzling” black and white and warm primary colors.
Meanwhile, Marca Corona presented larger blocks of solid color with its BOLD series, a matte tile available in white, sage green, marsala red and mustard yellow. “BOLD blends these contemporary colors to soft surfaces, enhanced by satin-effect glazes with a velvety touch, soft reflections and an appealing brightness,” explained the manufacturers. A choice of two 3D relief structures, forming thin strips and small circles respectively, highlight “the bold originality of the collection and maximize its creative potential.”
Innovative American manufacturer Island Stone showcased a refreshing series of glass tiles in shimmering aquatic colors. Spindrift is a pebble-shaped mosaic of teal glass, Ripple is defined by sinuous, flowing rows of baby-blue tile, while Arrowhead is made of subtle sky blue and clear glass triangles and rhombuses.
Finally, Italian decorative tile specialist Ornamenta took home Coverings’ Open Concept Award with its playful range of color combinations, including Gone, a high-contrast black and white tile design that was paired with a vivid blue mortar by MAPEI for the show. Bolder still, the brand’s Manifesto tile sports a distinctive pebble motif in a hand-painted style, and comes in multiple high-contrast color combinations including deep blues, greens and reds.
Less common than colors but no less eye-catching were the metallic finishes, varying from subtle golden hues to shimmering, highly reflective surfaces. Unusual manufacturing processes were implemented to achieve finishes that add a sparkle amidst the neutral tones through the majority of the show.
Spanish glass tile manufacturer Onix undoubtedly scooped the award for the most bling at the exhibition, showing off a rich collection of 24-carat gold tiles. Designed for high-end hospitality, the RIF collection employs this precious metal with varying degrees of intensity, ranging from intricate, shimmering patterns to planes of solid gold.
Striking a deliberate contrast with the large format tiles at this year’s Coverings, Colorker set out to prove that conventional 20 x 10 cm (7.8 x 3.9 inches) tiles could be reimagined for a modern market. Its ARTS collection is dipped in metallic paint, similar to the way in which automobile parts are finished, producing a highly reflective finish in gold, silver and bronze.
Perhaps the most eye-catching metallic effect, though, was showcased by Taniguchi Seitosho Ltd. The Japanese manufacturer’s unusual VITCELLAtile — part of the Komino series — possesses a pearlescent quality, its small, curvaceous 3D shape packing a visual punch unlike most interior wall tiles at this more domestic scale.
Many more brands exhibited products following these trends, while others simply improved on conventional choices — larger, thinner, lighter weight panels, more options pertaining to tone and marbling, and further color combinations for different applications. If there was one major takeaway from the show, it was this: Tile and stone manufacturers are growing in confidence following the global financial crisis of 2008, and are now flexing their creative muscles to offer more ambitious commercial products than ever.
Viewed as a whole, Coverings 2018 constituted a vibrant celebration of decorative tile products developed using cutting-edge technology and advanced manufacturing processes. If Atlanta’s vast exhibition halls are anything to go by, audacious applications of tile should become increasingly common among architectural projects in the coming years.
Credit: Paul Keskeys
What are the tile leveling systems?
The tile leveling systems are tile installation systems for floor tiles and wall tiles of big rectified formats, created to face the market's demand that, more and more, requires big rectified tiles.
Where to use
Why to use
In stock are 1mm and 2mm leveling clips
Variations in shade are inherent in all kiln fired products and are one of the Natural Characteristics of Ceramic Tiles.
Shade variation can occur in all types of kiln-fired clay products including tiles. Consequently, each production run of tiles is given a shade number, which is printed on the outside of the carton. This number should be given to the tile supplier if additional tiles are required.
It is the tile layers responsibility to check the shade numbers on the boxes before laying commences. If different shade numbers are discovered, the tile layer must inform the client. If several areas, wall or floor, are being covered with the same tile, it may be possible to use different batches in separate areas.
Many contemporary ceramic tiles are designed to imitate the appearance of natural materials like timber and stone products, which frequently vary substantially in appearance.
Tile manufacturers use the latest digital ink-jet printing technologies to create surfaces which
reflect that natural variation. Ink-jet printing processes allow manufacturers to deliberately produce a multiplicity of patterns within one batch, which ensures that the finished products vary in appearance, just like the natural surface finishes they seek to emulate.
As a result of shade variation the shade of sample products displayed in tile outlets may vary from the products which are delivered.
There are two main types of shade variation: Variation from sample to actual (variations between production runs) and variation from tile to tile (intentional variations manufactured into the product).
Colour variation from sample to actual
This is the toughest shade variation to anticipate. This variation, also known as dyelot or tonality, is inherent in producing a unique product. Due to the nature of the production process and materials used, variations in colour is almost inevitable between production lots. (This is also the case with bricks, pavers, carpet, textiles and vinyl etc.)
Shades may be similar to those obtained in previous productions but they will rarely if ever be the same, therefore it is best to buy all material to be installed at the same time. (Ideally tiles from different batches should not be laid together. If for some reason this is to be done, tiles from each batch should be compared for compatibility before installation.)
It is also wise to keep some extra tiles aside, of the same production lot, for any future maintenance.
As ceramic tiles are a kiln fired product display samples are an indication of the tile. Colour and design may vary between sample and actual tiles supplied.
Colour variation from tile to tile
This is the type of variation that the manufacturer intentionally created in the tiles. Manufacturers are making ceramic tiles to resemble natural products (e.g. natural stone). The more the tile looks like stone the more it acquires natural stone characteristics – such as colour, texture and shade variations.
Manufacturers and distributors have started to adopt a colour variation guide. This guide rates ceramic tiles on a four-point scale that ranges from V0 through V4.
V0 Monochromatic – The tiles are very uniform, monochromatic colour with little or no variation.
V1 Uniform Appearance (Minimal Variation) – Differences among pieces from the same production run are minimal. The tiles should have uniform appearance and minimal variation.
V2 Slight to Moderate Variation – Clearly distinguishable texture and/or pattern within similar colours. The tiles have a slight to moderate variation in shade, design and texture.
V3 Moderate to Considerable Variation – While the colours present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of the colours to be expected on other tiles, the design and/or amount of colour on each piece may vary significantly. These tiles have moderate to considerable variation in colour,
design, texture and overall appearance.
V4 Substantial Variation – Random colour differences from tile to tile, so that one tile may have totally different colours from other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique. The tiles will have a substantial random variation in colour, design, texture and overall appearance.
Markings and Specifications
It is a good idea to keep an empty carton as most of the following key product information is usually printed on the carton:
As well as variation from batch to batch ceramic tiles can vary slightly within the batch itself. To ensure a successful installation tilers should mix the tiles during laying by working from a number of boxes at the same time.
In this way any small shade variations are blended amongst the installation evenly resulting in an aesthetically acceptable finish.
Credit: Australian Tile Council
Ceramic materials are time- honoured, ancient products, which are used extensively in every internal and external aspect of our built environment.
Today, tiles can be purchased in an extensive variety of formats which vary in size from tiny mosaic tesserae to giant pieces of porcelain.
Tiles vary in thickness from 5 mm to 25 mm. Products are manufactured from mixes of clay, sand and a variety of natural substances which are fired at extreme temperatures which frequently exceed 1200 degrees Celsius. The blend of raw materials and the temperature they are fired at determine the nature of the tile, and its suitability for use in specific applications. The firing process produces hard, rigid products which are fragile in certain circumstances.
However, once tiles are correctly installed, they are capable of withstanding heavy loads, and substantial levels of foot traffic, without bending or deforming. At this stage they are highly resistant to abrasion and their resistance to impact is increased. While the pressing stage initially sets the hardness properties, it is the final stage of the firing process that ultimately determines the hardness of the product. The high temperature production process produces a surface finish which is easy to clean and
maintain. Ceramic tiles are inert, they can be fully immersed in water without any change occurring. Significantly, the flames of a fire will not alter their structure. Consequently, tile can be adhered to any internal or external, vertical or horizontal, wet or dry surface that has been correctly prepared.
To summarise, tiles are
They can be laid in numerous residential and commercial applications. Hardwearing/Exceptional Life Cycle Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies have determined that correctly chosen and installed ceramic tiles materials can last as long as the building in which they are installed in.
The cost of periodic maintenance of floor finishes over a protracted extended period of time is expensive and constantly increases. Tile requires minimal maintenance.
The vast majority of ceramic floor tile installations can be cleaned by sweeping
away accumulated grit and light mopping or cleaning with a microfibre wipe.
The compact body of the product prevents impregnation by dirt, dust mites or other potential contaminants.
Fire and Heat Resistant
Tiles will not burn. The inert nature of the material determines that no toxins or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will be released during a fire. Tiled surfaces delay the spread of fire, the surface cannot be burned or marked by a lit cigarette.
Chemical and Stain Resistance
Most ceramic materials are highly resistant to staining and have a very high resistance to a wide range of chemicals. Appropriate specified ceramic surfaces can be laid in laboratories, hospitals, abattoirs, or virtually any commercial environment. Many porcelain products are practically impervious, and highly resistant to liquid impregnation and subsequent staining. Glazed ceramic products do not stain.
Even extreme levels of ultra violet and other forms of light (sunlight) have no effect on the colourfast nature of tiles either glazed or unglazed.
Tiled surfaces adapt to the air temperature of a room, which minimises heating and cooling costs. Under tile heating systems can be installed during the laying process. Clay products absorb heat and naturally release it when the ambient temperature falls. Porcelain tiles are particularly effective heat banks.
Advanced ceramic products are produced with titanium dioxide fired into the surface of the tile producing hydrophilic properties which ensure that the tiles are extremely easy to clean. In addition an anti-bacterial effect is created, in the presence of any form of light the photocatalytic process produces O2 active oxygen which can decompose microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, moss, mould and viruses, even the antibacterial resistant ‘super bugs’ are destroyed, this process also breaks down the toxic emissions such as nitrous oxide from motor vehicles. These products can be most beneficial when used in hospitals, on building facades and in private homes bringing major health and environmental benefits.
Credit: Australian Tile Council
This problem can occur on a variety of tiled surfaces. It is usually created when tile layers hastily complete the grouting process, without washing off residue grout effectively. Some contemporary ceramic products have slightly textured surfaces which can encourage grout to cling to the surface of the tile.
Tile layers should use a clean sponge and clean water to carefully remove excess grout, without dragging grout out of the grout joints. To do this effectively it is important not to commence the wash off process too soon. In addition, residue grout should be completely squeezed out of the sponge, and the water should be changed frequently.
On warm days grout will dry quicker and will be more prone to adhering to the tile’s surface. In those circumstances, smaller areas should be grouted to avoid sections drying too quickly, leaving behind a feint residue that later proves difficult to remove.
In most instances a light grout bloom will become evident, this can be removed using a dry rag. If grout has not been washed off effectively, this bloom or haze may reappear making the surface look smeared, dirty or dull.
If this problem occurs, the owner needs to address it promptly, as the longer it is left unattended the harder it becomes to remove the residue grout film, which will attract additional grime.
In some instances, latex contained in grout improvers may be part of the problem, the cementitious element of the grout will have been removed, but feint traces of the latex element of the mix may remain.
At this point, many home owners resort to using general household cleaners which may contain a mild alkaline or mild acidic element, which may not prove successful. Latex is usually removed by using an appropriate solvent to release it from the surface. The floor should be thoroughly cleaned with water prior to application of the solvent.
Epoxy grouts are more difficult to remove. These should always be applied and cleaned strictly following manufacturer recommendations. Never leave residues on the tile surface. Most epoxy grout manufacturers have specific dedicated products for the cleaning.
Fortunately, most of our leading manufacturers of adhesive and grout produce problem solving cleaners which will resolve the problem. If grout haze occurs, talk to your tile supplier for advice and consult with the tile layer to ascertain which grout was used.
Once the floor is cleaned it will no longer be necessary to use these special cleaners on a regular basis.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Conduct a test on a small out of the way section of the floor to check that the result is satisfactory.
This may occur in areas which lack adequate ventilation, it may be necessary to install an extractor fan. Mould can be removed by scrubbing with a scourer, using one of the following - bicarbonate of soda, methylated spirits, cloudy ammonia or epsom salts.
The popularity of porcelain products encouraged manufacturers to apply a light wax coating to the surface of each tile, to protect the surface of the tile from scratching during the packing, in transit and installation processes.
The majority of these wax coatings are water soluble, they can be removed using a water- based alkaline cleanser. Before removing solvent based waxes let the cleaner dwell on the
tile surface for 10 to 15 minutes to dissolve the wax. Your tile retailer can give you guidance. You should check if your chosen porcelain tile has been coated with wax, your tile layer should be alerted prior to installation.
Overuse of High Alkaline Detergents
As previously stated, clean water and a mild pH cleanser will be suitable for cleaning the majority of tile surfaces. Use of alkaline or acidic cleaners will often create problems. Alkaline cleaners should only be used to remove specific stains, they should not form a part of the regular maintenance programme.
This problem usually occurs in external applications of unglazed ceramic materials and natural stone. Efflorescence usually appears on the surface of a tile or around the joints in the form of a white powder. This unsightly problem is created by the transmission of liquid salts from below the tiles to the surface. In most new installations the residue can be swept or vacuumed away. The presence of excessive moisture is the prime cause of the problem. In some instances the problem reoccurs, always remove every trace promptly to prevent hardening and subsequent calcification.Specialist cleansers are available to treat the problem. These can only be employed when the source of the moisture is identified and if the problem persists a specialist should be consulted.
If you are wanting a less pronounced grout line where the tiles appear seamlessly together then select a grout colour that matches your tile selection. Selecting a grout colour that is exactly the same is near impossible but a shade lighter or darker can help tie everything together.
We recommend selecting a matching grout colour when your tile has only one colour and no variation.
If you are wanting a safe choice that will compliment any tile and space, then a neutral colour grout may be the best option.
A light grey or darker colour grout will have less of an impact and be a timeless design that will not date.
If you are wanting your tiles to stand out and have an impact, you can use a contrasting grout that will frame the tiles. This makes the tiles pop out and draws attention to them.
If you are selecting a contrasting colour grout then we recommend using thicker grout joints to ensure you really highlight the tiles using the colour grout selected
Generally floor tiles can be installed onto any surface that is structurally safe and sound. This means that the surface is clean, smooth, dry and free from any wax, soap, scum, grease or dirty and grime.
If the surface has any damage, is loose in any way or uneven then you must repair the surface before any installation of tile work begins.
Before the installation begins it is best to plan the layout of the tiles. This will largely depend on the design layout that you want to achieve however there is a standard process.
To start planning the layout of your tile installation, begin by finding and marking the centre point of the room. Draw a line from the centre of the room to the centre of each wall in the area and ensure that they are perfectly square.
The next step is to lay out some of the tiles you will install along the lines in all directions. Remember to leave space for the grout joints. The width of the grout joint will depend on what spacers you use or levelling clips.
If you find that laying out your tiles in all directions will leave cuts that are smaller than half a tile against the walls, then you should adjust the centre line by half a tile closer to the wall. This should be repeated along if centre line if necessary.
The centre lines also split the room into smaller grids so you can work within these grids.
The type of adhesive will depend on the type of tiles and area of installation. Make sure you carefully read the instructions, make and precaution on the adhesive packages to ensure correct use and application. When mixing the adhesive, only mix enough that you would use within 30 minutes to avoid the adhesive curing the bucket mixture.
When applying the adhesive, use the type and size of trowel recommended on the adhesive package. Spread the adhesive over the area of one tile at a time using the flat side of the trowel. After the adhesive is well spread, use the notch side of the trowel to comb the adhesive into the corners of the area the tile will be installed. Remove the excess adhesive so that a uniform and firm bedding of adhesive is left.
Make sure each tile is measured carefully before cutting. A pencil or felt tip pen can be used. Diagonal and straight cuts can be made using a standard tile cutter. Curved cuts should be done with a tile nipper which can chip away in small increments at a tile to ensure a smooth and accurate curvature.
When setting tiles onto the adhesive it is best to mix tiles from several boxes to ensure a blended effect if there is any variation within the tile. Tiles should be placed on the adhesive in a twisting motion, not a sliding motion. When two tiles are set together, place spacers in-between them to create the equal grout joint space.
If you are laying rectangle tiles in a brick bond patter, make sure that these tiles do not overlap more than 1/3. When the tiles are set, use a rubber mallet or hammer and tap on the tiles to knock out any air and to ensure a good bond to the level plane.
Remove any excess adhesive from the joints with a putty knife and from the top of the tile with a damp sponge.
Continue applying the adhesive and laying the tile in working sections in the same manner. Make adjustments as needed so the tiles are aligned straight, especially along the longest dimension of the room where variations will show.
Remember to cut tiles an extra 1/4 inch smaller at the edge of the flooring to allow for mortar and expansion.
Leave tiles for at least 24 hours before applying grout or walking on.
Grouting should generally be done 24 hours after the tiles have been installed. You should refer to the specific instructions and precaution on the grouting package before grouting. When mixing the grout, only mix an amount that will be used within 30 minutes.
Before applying the grout, remove the tile spacer. Then spread the grout on the tile surface by forcing the mixture into the grout joints using a rubber grout float. Remove any excess grout from the surface of the tile as soon as possible with the edge of the rubber float.
After approximately 15-20 minutes, use a damp sponge to clean the grout residue from the surface of the tiles. The sponge should be rinsed regularly and the water changed as required.
Once the grout has dried and the grout has formed a haze on the tile surface, polish it off with a soft cloth. Rinse again with a sponge and clean water if necessary.
Tiles can be installed on almost any structurally sound substrates just as long as they meet a few conditions. The surface must be clean, dry, smooth and free from wax, soap, scum, grease and any dirt or grime. If there are damaged, loose or uneven surface materials where the tiles are to be fixed, then these areas must be repaired, patched or levelled.
Wall Tile Layout
The wall layout of your tiles will depend on your design however there is a basic rule for laying wall tiles. Start by finding the centre point of the wall and use a level to draw a plumb line in the wall’s centre. Then plan the layout by laying out a row of tiles across the bottom of the wall from the centre line you have just marked. Be sure to take into account the uniform grout joints between each tile. The width of the grout joint must meet Australian Standards.
Laying out your tiles will identify if there are any cuts that need to be made. If the layout leaves cuts smaller than half a tile, then adjust the centre line half a tile closer to the side wall.
The next step is to identify and draw a guideline for the first row of tiles to be set above the floor substrate. This is critical if the floor is uneven or sloped (i.e. bathroom floor slope). To draw this guideline, find the lowest point of the floor using a leveller. Stack two tiles here and at the top draw a horizontal line on the wall above the second tile. With the level, continue the line around all sides of the walls to be tiled.
Firstly you will need to select the right adhesive that is appropriate for the wall you are tiling. There are a few different types of adhesives so it is best to ask for advice if you unsure. Carefully read and follow all instructions and precautions on the adhesive package. When mixing adhesive you should only mix the amount that is expected to be used over the next 30 minutes to an hour to avoid the adhesive curing the bucket.
To apply the adhesive, first place the tile over the area it is to be installed then lift it up and spread the adhesive across that area using the trowel recommended on the adhesive package. Remove any excess adhesive and make sure you do not spread a larger area than can be set in 15 minutes.
All tiles that are to be cut must be measured carefully and marked with a pencil or felt tip pen. Straight cuts are easy, you can use a tile cutter for this. If you have any curved cuts then a tile nipper is the best solution. Nippers chip away small pieces at a time to achieve a very accurate result. However if you have very long curved cuts then a rod saw is best.
Before setting any tiles onto the adhesive you should lay them out to check for any variation. Variation in shade is an inhere characteristic of both porcelain and ceramic tiles and it is always best to achieve a blended effect to avoid any box to box shade variation.
Begin installation by setting a tile in the centre of the space to be tiled and work in grids. Make sure you finish one grid before moving to the next. The method to set tiles should be a laying and twisting motion. Not a sliding motion.
Once the tile is set, remove any excess adhesive from the top of the tile with a wet sponge and the ground joint with a paddle pop stick or putty knife and insert tile spacers for each tile to leave equal grout joints between every tile.
There are many rules for different laying patterns. If you are laying rectangle tiles in a brick bond pattern then you must make sure that the tiles never overlap by more than 1/3.
Wait 24 hours before grouting unless otherwise specified on the adhesive package. Make sure you carefully read grouting instructions and precautions on the grout package. Be sure to only mix the amount of grout that you will use in approximately 30 minutes to avoid the grout curing the bucket.
To apply the grout, first remove any spacers from the joints and then spread the grout on the tile surface by forcing the grout mixture into the joints with a rubber float or sponge.
After applying the grout make sure ot remove any excess grout from the surface of the tiles immediately with the edge of your float. After approximately 15-20 minutes or when the grout visually begins to set slightly you should remove and clean the surface of tiles using a damp sponge. The sponge can also be used to smooth out the grout joints for a better finish.
Let dry until grout is hard and haze forms on tile surface, then polish with a soft cloth. Rinse again with sponge and clean water if necessary. Wait 72 hours for heavy use. Don't apply sealers or polishes for three weeks, and then only in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
All HIDE lids can only be accessed with the Safety Key, so they are 100% pool safety compliant with AU standards.
Peace of mind for homeowners, plus legally protects contractors.
Other skimmer lid options can be awkward to manoeuvre, hard to remove, or both. In comparison, HIDE covers are compact, and super easy to remove.
After care is also a breeze, at little-to-no time or cost.
Marine grade, 316 stainless steel components means a durable, long lasting product with a warranty. The steel frames also protect the inlay materials + landscaping surrounds from breaking.
Installing a new pool or renovating an existing pool? Don't use one of those plastic skimmer box lids. Purchase one of our HIDE Stainless Steel Skimmer Lid & Recess Frame kits, for a pool surround that will stand out from the rest. Different sizes available to suit your tile/paver.
The HIDE Lid suits any tile/stone or surface finish around the pool side. Simply select the lid to suit the thickness of your surround. Cut down your material to 330mm square, slot for lifting key and glue in flush to the top of side wall. Comes in different depths to suit thinner or thicker tiles or stones, 10mm (10-12mm tile), 20mm stone/tile/timber, 30mm stone, 40mm paver.
HIDE offers a flush finished, paving matched surface with minimal clearances so the lid virtually disappears. This ensures that the lid doesn’t detract from the pool’s good looks. The HIDE comprises a marine grade 316 stainless steel tray that has a paving matched stone infill. The tray supports the stone and protects it from chipping and cracking. This means less call backs for the pool builders from clients with broken skimmer lids.
Pool builders can no longer cut a lid from a stone tile and drill a hole in it and keep their fingers crossed. These old style lids are not heavy enough to be child proof and a core drilled hole is easy for a child to access.
f a pool builder supplies a non-compliant lid, they leave themselves open to a law suit from the pool’s owner in the event of an accident.
The Australian Standard states that lids must be child-proof (greater than 10.2 kg’s or lockable) and ventilated (opening greater than 315mm2). This change to the Australian Standard was in response to some serious and in some cases fatal accidents that resulted from lids children had opened.
The heavy duty marine grade 316 stainless steel key allows easy, controlled removal of the lid. This keyed access meets the Australian Standards required for skimmer box lid certification. The keyway also doubles up to provide adequate ventilation in line with AS 1926.3, yet is not a trip hazard.
The HIDE Edge Protector (EP) adds structure and extra protection to the HIDE Skimmer Lid installation. The Edge Protector is inserted or placed in to the tiles around the top of the skimmer box (this allows the coping tiles to be laid up to a solid stainless steel edge, flush to the top of the surface).
We are offering the HIDE Skimmer Lid and Key kit suitable for inlay depths of 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 30mm and 40mm deep. The HIDE Edge Protector is included with all lid kit depths.
If the HIDE lid were to knock or be dropped on the recess opening, the stainless steel frame will protect the surrounding tile edges from excessive chipping and cracking.
The Edge Protector also allows early provision for a HIDE lid set out, as it acts as a template in the initial stages of the set up with quick and easy levelling by the Tiler. This allows the HIDE lid to fit straight into the completed tiling project. Once the tiling is complete, you can drop the lid straight into the frame for that perfect finish.
The frame protects the surrounding tiles from chipping.
The HIDE Edge Protector is included in each HIDE Skimmer Lid kit, the result is an easier to use, more durable, long term solution to a neat, strong, flush, finish skimmer lid.
The HIDE EP is fabricated from 316 grade stainless steel. The external dimension of the frame is 342mm x 342mm. The finished depth of the recessed frame angle is 8mm deeper than the selected HIDE lid refer to chart for all specifications.
HIDE Skimmer Lid kits are also available for 300mm x 300mm tiles. Please inquire.
The internal depth of the frame matches the external depth of the lid so both the lid and frames top exposed rim, finish flush with each other.
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile store with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at every price point. Nerang Tiles is also a stockist and supplier of a wide range of tiling and pool tiling supplies.
When it comes to choosing the best flooring option for your pet it is important to take into consideration the following:
There are many flooring options available that have their respective qualities. However when it comes to keeping our floors pet friendly, protected and maintained to perfection, we believe a tile is the best option for pet owners.
Generally speaking there are two types of tiles available for flooring.
One of the many benefits of Porcelain tiles is that the design and colour options thanks to today’s modern technological advancements are virtually limitless. Porcelain tiles can be installed in any area of the home and are available in an incredibly vast array of colours, variations, textures, formats and sizes. The choices are unlimited, well it feels that way anyway.
So why choose tiles?
Porcelain and ceramic tiles provide a great advantage over other flooring options. Most flooring options are more porous than tiles and require sealing in order to prevent staining and discolouration. Porcelain tiles do not require sealing and are extremely resistant to water, staining and are also resistant to harsh chemicals and other abrasive products. These qualities will definitely assist with any pet stains, odours and scuff marks that our furry friends may leave.
Versatility in design, colour and shape
Thanks to the technological advancements and digital print machinery available today, porcelain tiles are the most versatile floor and wall products available for our homes. Porcelain tiles can be manfucatured to fit any room size and can be designed with any colour, pattern, texture, or cutouts that you can image. Porcelain tiles can also imitate with extreme accuracy that look and feel of nature’s natural products such as marble, timber and stone.
Porcelain tiles are manufactured using natural products and can often be produced from recycled materials such as crushed glass, recycled aggregated and silica fume. They are also extremely durable and will hardly ever require replacing or maintenance with any form of harsh or non-environmentally friendly chemicals.
When it comes to flooring there is no other flooring option like tiles. Tiles provide homeowners with a variety of benefits, especially those with pets. If you have pets and want a flooring option that will make life that little bit easier, then the scratch resistant, stain resistant and almost maintenance free qualities of tiles will be the best option for you.
A REVOLUTIONARY NANO-SEALANT WHICH STRUCTURALLY REPAIRS CRACKS AND CHIPS IN ONE APPLICATION. We recommend you purchase the ‘Starter Kit’ if your tiles are anything other than straight black or white.
The starter kit includes four base colors which allows you to easily blend the colors to create a perfect match for your specific tiles.
MagicEzy Tile Fix is a revolutionary nano-sealant which structurally repairs cracks and chips in one application. Tile Fix is a tough, colored sealant which allows you to quickly and easily repair ceramic tiles, benchtops, laminate, home appliances and even timber chips. It fills and colors, is long-lasting and easy to apply. With our selection of intuitive household-specific colors, you can now easily color match as a pro – in seconds!
MagicEzy’s revolutionary nano-technology and unique formula penetrates deep into the cells of the damage for ultra tough grip and impressive durability. This same technology gives strength yet allows for the repair to flex and move, while maintaining durability. No need to mix smelly and dangerous solvents! Tile Fix is perfect for ceramics, stone benchtops or vanities, laminate, wood and many more surfaces. Tile Fix will become your home’s new best friend!
To fill drill holes or any chips deeper than 6mm you will first need to use MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix, then color over the top with Tile Fix. Our 9 Second Chip Fix is totally compatible with Tile Fix and is super strong for structural durability.
MagicEzy Tile Fix is available in five popular colors, however we recommend the Starter Kit as you are able to create hundreds of colors and match to many more items in your home.
How to Use
1. Using a needle scrape to remove surface dirt out of chips/cracks.
2. Scrub damage using a nail brush plus 2 drops of dish-washing detergent in a cup of water, then water rinse.
3. Shake the tube FAST for 2 minutes to mix.
4. Ensure repair area is as cool as body temperature.
5. Apply one drop to cracks or enough to fill the chip.
6. Tum tube 180 degrees to the ‘LEVEL’ Spatula.
7. Rapidly wipe the TILE FIX 10 times with LEVEL into the crack. This thins and pushes TILE FIX inside the damage.
8. When tacky, clean the “LEVEL” with a tissue, then wipe away smears.
9. Repeat step 7 until all smears are deaned.
7. Wipe once with LEVEL spatula.
8. Clean LEVELwith tissue and wipe off remaining smears from repair.
9. Repeat until all smears are removed.
DRY repair with Hairdryer for 2 minutes. Repair is touch dry in two hours. Deep damage may require up to 4 coats. Full strength is ACHIEVED 2 weeks.
At 70ºF / 20º C (In cooler conditions, allow more time):
Is the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating. The essential process involves the dissolving of an internally held salt in water, or occasionally in another solvent. The water, with the salt now held in solution, migrates to the surface, then evaporates, leaving a coating of the salt.
In tiling terms, efflorescence is a crystallization of minerals that can commonly appear on the surface of cement grout joints and then spread or leak to the surface of surrounding tiles or surface areas. The term ‘efflorescence’ actually dates back hundreds of years to the Latin word efflorescere, which means to blossom or flower out. It is described like this because the salt crystal are carried upward to the surface through grout joints.
Efflorescence will commonly occur when the salt crystals in cement grout joints or adhesive are carried upwards by moisture. As the moisture evaporates when it reaches the surface, it can leave behind the salt deposits which will give the appearance of chalk, white haze on the surrounding surface. In the same way that your body sweats and water evaporates from your skin and leaves a salty residue, cement grout does the same. The darker the grout and the tile, then the more noticeable efflorescence will be.
What are the causes of grout efflorescence?
How can you prevent grout efflorescence?
How to clean/remove efflorescence from tiles and grout?
Nerang Tiles is an award winning tile store with thousands of floor tiles and wall tiles on display at its Gold Coast Tile Showroom. With all tile types on display, Nerang Tiles also boasts a large array of tiling supplies for all installation and maintenance requirements.
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.