1 How much wastage should be added when ordering tiles?
If your floor or wall area is fairly regular in terms of overall dimensions, then 10 per cent of extra tiles should be adequate. However, if your floor tile or wall tile is an unusual shape, or the area to be tiled is complex, or tiling a complex design such as herringbone, then 15 per cent is probably a better risk management figure. Having a few spare tiles is a great idea, because if you do fall short then you can access the same shade (batch number) easily.
2 How wide should grout joint widths be?
Many manufacturers of floor tiles and wall tiles that supply Nerang Tiles recommend narrow tile joints to imitate the appearance of natural marble and stone or timber flooring which is often laid with a 1 mm to 2 mm grout joint. However this depends on the flatness of the floor foundation / substrate. If, for example, you bathroom floor is perfectly flat then smooth narrow grout joints can be applied. Nerang Tiles recommends a 3 mm grout joint for ceramic floor tiles as an average.
It also depends on the type of tile you are laying. If you are laying a rectified tile that has been perfectly cut to the dimensions of the tile, then smaller joints can be used because aligning the grout joints is much easier. However, the use of pressed edged tiles where the size of the tile can vary between cartons, Nerang Tiles recommends using a large grout joint.
You should speak to your tiler about your floor or wall area and get his advice on what the best approach would be.
3 Which substrates can be tiled over?
Make sure you can tile your area. Practically any floor type can be tiled from concrete flooring, timber, plasterboard and even tiles. Adhesive manufactures such as CTA and Davco create adhesives that basically glue tiles to any surface. When purchasing your tiles you should ask the Nerang Tiles staff for their advice on what type of adhesive should be used and whether you need a rigid cement based, flexible rubber based on water resistance adhesive for your tiling area.
4 What is a Porcelain Tile, should you buy one?
You can find many different references and descriptions to porcelain tiles on the net and between different tile shops. They are commonly known as gres porcelanato, fully vitrified, or vitreous tiles. In short, porcelain tiles are an impervious material with a water absorption level at or below 0.5 per cent. This means that the tile will soak up less than 0.5 per cent of its weight in water when exposed to water for over 24 hours.
The surface of a porcelain tile can be glazed, polished or un polished. When a factory polishes the surface of a porcelain tile it increases the number of tiny pin holes (pores) in the surface of the porcelain tile which may harbour liquid or build up grime. This often happens because the factory did not clean or change over their polishing heads frequently enough during the tiles polishing process. In short, a polished porcelain tile may be easier to wipe clean because it has the feeling of glass, but a polished porcelain tile has a higher porosity value of 2 to 3 per cent as opposed to the more common 0.5 per cent prescribed in the ISO classification B1a (a global porcelain tile manufacturing standard).
Don’t be alarmed though, porcelain tiles are the leading tile material and the finest ceramic products on the market. Glazed porcelain is not a polished product and the most popular type of flooring in the world. The surface is easy to clean and maintain and it is one of the most durable and hardwearing flooring products in history. Fortunately, the problems associated with polishing porcelain tiles is being improved with the introduction of new technologies.
5 What are rectified tiles?
Many porcelain products are produced with rectified edges as opposed to pressed or round edges. Typically these tiles have very square edges as a result of cutting or grinding processes which produce tiles with very precise dimensions and permit installation using narrow grout joints.
6 Which type of ceramic tile is generally used outside?
Until very recently, the tile industry only placed terracotta, quarry tiles or tessellated tiles in outdoor areas such as pool surrounds, balconies and commercial exteriors for their durability and non-slip surfaces. However with new technology has come the emergence of hard wearing and frost proof porcelain tiles with the combination of factories being able to produce tiles using ink jet technology (producing the same colour or design tile consistently).
Today’s porcelain tiles that are in a matt or external version can be used outside where slip resistance is required.
7 Which body represents the broad interests of the Australian Tile Industry?
The Australian Tile Council which is active in all states and territories. Visit www.australiantilecouncil.com.au.