Tile Installation FAQs Tips And Questions

Tile Installation FAQs Tips And Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Tile And Stone

This Support FAQ page provides answers to questions our support team frequently receives. Here are the questions we’re most often asked. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for feel free to contact us .

What are rectified tiles?

All natural tiles vary slightly between production runs. Sizes change between batches and this means is that mixing and matching different production batches is seldom possible. Rectified tiles are deliberately made over size, and are then cut on a diamond saw at the factory to a common caliber. The square, saw-cut edges allow for finer narrower grout joints between tiles and result in a beautiful and contemporary finished look. Rectified calibration also means that rectified tiles will still work together when modular sizes are mixed. Rectified products have increased in popularity over recent times. Note that rectified tiles need to be installed on a good surface square and level, and your tile contractor should be experienced with the requirements for laying this type of product.

What is the difference between ceramic & porcelain tiles?

Ceramic tiles have been around for over 2000 years. They typically have a white or red clay biscuit with some form of glaze on top. Porcelain tile cost more than ordinary ceramic tile because you are getting a superior product. Porcelain tile requires the finest natural ingredients and a rigidly controlled manufacturing process that utilizes the most advanced processes and technology. Porcelain tiles are made from an extremely finely powdered clay tablet that is pressed under enormous pressure and heat — several hundred degrees hotter than ceramics. Porcelain tiles are much harder and more dense than ceramic tiles. This allows porcelain tiles to be made in very large formats that would be impossible to achieve in a ceramic tile. Porcelain tiles will also often have a colored biscuit that matches the surface glaze, or have a color and pattern that extends all the way through the tile. This avoids the common problem with ceramics where the glaze gets chipped and exposes the color of the clay biscuit underneath.

What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tiles?

Glazed tiles are made the same as unglazed except that a glass layer called a glaze is fused to its’ surface by means of tremendous heat. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs. The glaze also protects the tile from staining. Unglazed tiles are true inlays. Unglazed tiles are very similar to glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Unglazed ceramic tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.

What is the difference between wall and floor tiles?

Wall tiles, because they are not intended to be load bearing are typically thinner, lighter and softer than floor tiles. Wall tile glazes are not designed to handle the abrasive forces from foot traffic. Increasingly, floor tiles are being applied to walls and this is no problem so long as the walls are strong enough to support their weight and proper ceramic tile installation methods are used. However, it is not usual to recommend using wall tiles in floor applications.

What is the difference between interior & exterior tiles?

Don’t limit yourself to thinking that tile can just be used indoors. It is an ideal patio covering and for decorative front porch stoops. You can permanently adhere tile to pre-cast concrete walking pads to create stunning garden stepping stones. But if you decide to use ceramic tile outdoors, be sure these tiles meet slip-resistance minimum requirements. Exterior tiles have a surface texture that helps make them slip resistant. Top-quality tile manufacturers make special outdoor tile that has a slightly gritty surface, even though the tile is glazed. The invisible grit provides superb traction when tiles become wet. To be used outdoors,the tile must be frost proof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less. We recommends that slip-resistant tiles be used outside in areas exposed to weather and rain, or around swimming pools etc. Exterior tiles are usually graded to indicate their particular slip-resistance. Note that there is always a trade-off between slip resistance and maintenance and cleaning. Slip-resistant tiles will accumulate more dirt and will naturally require more regular attention.

Tile manufacturers grade their products as they come out of the factory. Defective products are clearly labeled «2nd Quality» by Italian manufacturers and are sold at a lesser price. The ASTM standard C-1027 describes test method for determining visible abrasion resistance of glazed ceramic tile. Classification for durability is based upon both the results of this test. All unglazed tile should meet Class IV+ standards when installed in either commercial or residential installations.


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