Everything You Need to Know about Tiling
Tiling refers to the process of laying tiles – slabs of a similar shape – on roofs, walls, or other surfaces such as countertops. Tiles give a space a whole new look, upping its aesthetic quality and adding a new character to it.
There are different aspects of tiles, the knowledge of which makes buyers better informed, and enables them to make the right choice for their residential or commercial project. Here are some tiling facts you may find helpful for your next project:
Types of Tiles
Each tile comes with its own specialty. Depending on your requirements of budget, looks and style effects, you can choose a tile that best matches your needs.
Marble – This natural stone can impart a classic and rich look to any space. Marble tiles come in different finishes such as tumbled, brushed and polished.
Mosaic – Mosaic tiles feature unique mosaic decorations, an ancient art with Roman and Greek origins. These tiles are used to add a modern and original touch to spaces, including walls and floors. They are commonly used for bathrooms and kitchens to create a highlighting backsplash effect.
Ceramic – These are highly durable tiles used for areas that see heavy foot traffic. Ceramic tiles are made of clay derived from natural materials such as slate, marble or rock. The clay is baked and then pressed into the desired shape under great pressure. This manufacturing process makes ceramic tiles exceptionally strong. A sealed photographic image of stone or wood forms the top layer of the tile.
Porcelain – Porcelain is a ceramic variant. Porcelain tiles are highly durable and water-resistant. Other benefits include low maintenance, stain and spill resistance, fire resistance, and high impact tolerance.
Natural Stone – Tiles in this category can be of slate, travertine, marble, limestone and sandstone. Tile preparation process makes use of natural materials such as calcareous, quartz, feldspar and sedimentary rocks.
Natural textures, looks and colours that the natural materials impart to the tiles, make natural stone tiles a preferred choice for designs that demand beautiful and natural imperfections.
Large Format Panels – These panels are used when the requirement is of a tile that looks seamless with the joints almost disappearing from view. They can be used in kitchens and bathrooms, and on walls and floors.
Lesser-Known Benefits of Tiles
Apart from aesthetics, tiles offer other benefits, which make them a popular construction choice:
1. Eco-friendly – Raw materials used for tiles, such as porcelain, ceramic, and natural stones, are environment-friendly products, which makes tiles a highly green option.
Tile materials are recyclable. Material are used and re-used for making new products. In addition, manufacturing processes have advanced to make maximum use of waste water through appropriate treatments, and discarding only a minimal construction scrap.
2. Durability – When installed correctly, tiles can last for a lifetime. They do not need any replacement over time as with other surface coverings such as carpets, laminate and vinyl flooring.
3. Contribute to Healthy and Minimal Indoor Pollution – Presence of hazardous pollutants such as VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds, in particular, is becoming an increasing concern.
VOCs are found in floors and flooring materials, adhesives, furniture with laminate finish, and wall covers.
These carbon-based compounds are not visible to human eye, but exposure to these chemicals in high quantities through inhalation can cause serious health problems. Some common symptoms of exposure include pneumonia, fatigue, headaches, cough, and even asthma.
In addition to turning indoors into toxic environments, these compounds adversely affect soil and groundwater quality.
By including tile in your flooring or wall products, the risk of exposure to VOCs is greatly reduced. Tiles are baked in kilns under high temperatures. As a result, they contain negligent amounts of VOCs, which makes them a safer and healthier option.
4. Hypoallergenic – By being resistant to allergy-causing mould, dust mites, bacteria and germs, tiles offer a great option if occupants comprise members with allergies.
Tips for Maintaining Tiles
One of the major reasons for the popularity of tiles is the low maintenance they need. Tiles are, by nature, water resistant, and facilitate easy cleaning. It is possible to have your tiles on walls, floors or countertops, look awesome for many years with just a little care.
1. Follow a cleaning routine that includes sweeping or dry mopping to remove dirt. Use wet mopping once a week (more in case of areas seeing heavy foot traffic) to remove stubborn grit, and minimise wear and tear to the tile from daily use.
2. Use cleaning methods according to the type of the tile – glazed or unglazed.
Glazed tiles are subject to an additional session of baking in kilns as against unglazed tiles. Glazed varieties are less slip-resistant compared to non-glazed varieties. Also, glazed tiles consist of a liquid glass layer, and are more stain-resistant than unglazed varieties.
-> Use a general household cleaner without any oil-based content to clean glazed tiles. A standard cleaner is enough to remove stubborn dirt, hard water deposits, soap residue, and mildew (especially on bathroom wall tiles).
-> While it is safer to go for cleaners with a neutral pH level for cleaning unglazed tiles, it is important to read labels to know if a cleaner is suitable for the kind of tile you are using, and for the traffic level the tile is exposed to.
Some best tiling tips to minimise wear and tear to your tiles:
-> Sealing the grout is crucial to reducing tile wear and tear. Without a seal, tile grout becomes vulnerable to dirt and moisture, which creep into the tile, causing damage such as cracks, and even tile breakage, over time.
Grout sealing makes the tile resistant to spills, stains and growth of mould.
-> Avoid use of steel or wire cleaning brushes on tiles as the abrasiveness of these materials can cause scratches. Also, any piece of remnant steel causes rust, which stains tile grout.
-> Give preference to cleaners recommended by the tile manufacturer. Ensure that the cleaner you buy is applicable on tile grouts.
-> Clean any spills on tiles immediately to prevent stain formation on grout.
-> Use of floor protectors for furniture legs is recommended to prevent damage such as scratches on tiles.
-> Clean the tile with clean water after using a cleaning solution on it, to remove any traces of the cleaner.
-> Use dirt-trappers such as floor mats in areas that see heavy traffic, such as entrance, exits, and kitchen sinks. By trapping dust, grime and sand, these mats minimise contact of such damage-causing materials with tiles.
Some more tips to have your tile working for you at peak performance for several years:
-> Do not use bleach on a tile. Avoid vinegar and water solution too as vinegar is an acid and can damage the tile.
-> Avoid using soap as it can leave a film of residue, which dulls tile colour and promotes growth of mildew.
-> Test the cleaner on a small area on the tile before using it for a thorough cleaning.
-> Do not use coloured cleaning agents on unglazed tiles.
-> Hire a qualified contractor to repair or replace a damaged tile.
To experience said benefits of tiles, it is crucial to purchase products of the highest quality. For the best in tiles in Australia, choose Johnson Tiles. Our company has over 50 years of rich history in the tiling industry, which makes us a specialist in the field.
We offer a range of tiling products for commercial and residential applications. With our innovative online design technology, we make it possible for our clients to design their own tiles. This helps us in delivering a highly personalised service to our customers.
Call us at +61 3 9720 4041 for more information.