Tiling Tips for Walls and Floors
Planning to construct your new home or want to renovate your old one? You may want to hire a building contractor to do all the work for you. However, understanding the differences in tiles, their characteristics and their usage can help you to choose the right tiles for your walls and floors.
Here is what you need to know for choosing the right tiles for walls and floors for your home or office.
Types of Tiles
Different materials are used for making tiles. Also, tiles differ in size, shape, texture and more importantly, features. Let’s look at some of the commonly used tiles.
1. Mosaic Tiles – With mosaic tiles, you can create beautiful walls to add a touch of elegance and glass to any space.
2. Ceramic Tiles – Ceramic tiles have been in use in homes for many decades and are one of the most popular and cost-effective options.
3. Porcelain Tiles – Porcelain has low porosity rating. This makes them the best option for bathrooms and kitchens.
4. Natural Stone Tiles – Looking for an earthy, rustic look for your interiors? Natural stone tiles are the best bet when you want to add an organic appeal to your home decor.
5. Large Format Panels – Cleaning grout from tiles can prove to be a cumbersome task. Using large format panels can help achieve a seamless look while giving minimal grout lines.
Taking Care of Your Floor and Wall Tiles
Choosing the right tiles for your home/office is just one aspect of getting the decor right. It is equally important to know some essential tile care techniques. This way you can keep the tiles looking great all the time. After all, caring for your tiles adds to their durability.
The first thing to do after any tile installation is to seal the grout on all tiled floors. This will prevent dirt and grime from settling onto the tiles and spoiling their beauty.
Maintain a regular tile care regimen.
You can clean ceramic and porcelain tiles with a natural cleaning liquid mixed with warm water and a mop. Regular cleaning will help minimise the effort you put into cleaning your tiles over a long period of time.
Natural stone tiles require a lot of attention. Your tile supplier will be able to guide you through the right cleaning techniques for natural stone tiles.
For stone tile floors, vacuum or dust mop the floors to remove abrasive agents. Sand, pebbles and other foreign particles that accumulate in the grout lines can be kept at bay with regular vacuuming.
Avoid using acidic cleaning products to clean your stone floors. Instead, clean your tiles using a pH neutral cleaner. Alternatively, the good old method of using amild dishwashing detergent and warm water can give your stone floors a thoroughly clean look.
Sealing Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone tiles are sealed with a sealer to help filter out stains and keep them clean and great looking always. The sealer penetrates below the surface of the stone tile. The sealer does not affect the look or finish of the tile in any way.
Tile Wear and Tear
Protecting your floor and wall tiles can minimise the wear and tear that they are subjected to over the years.
Avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, wire brushes and steel wool for cleaning your floor and wall tiles.
Clean floor spills as soon as they occur. This will prevent floor and grout stains to a great extent.
Use mild cleaning products for cleaning your tiles. Stick to cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Check with the floor tile supplier for specifications.
You can also prevent tile damage by using floor protectors for your furniture.
Understanding Why Tiles Crack
There are 2 main reasons why tiles crack.
Poor tiling methods are the most common reason why tiles crack. Always hire reputed tiling contractors to do the job. Ask your tile supplier for recommendations and references.
Another common reason why tiles crack is above-average movement on the surface of the tile. This could be due to extensive furniture or equipment movement or heavy loads falling or being dragged on the tiles.
Repairing Damaged Tiles
Tiles that experience heavy traffic may chip and crack after some time. Small chips and cracks can be easily repaired using branded filler products. The filler can be used as-is or you could mix the paint colour matching your tile so there is no colour imbalance.
However, in case the tiles are extensively damaged, it’s best to replace or re-tile them.
Replacing Damaged Tiles
It is sometimes best to replace a damaged tile in order to prevent injury to people and pets. This also helps avoid further damage to the adjoining tiles.
Use a scraper to remove the grout surrounding a damaged tile. A heavy hammer and chisel may be used to remove the broken tile. Alternatively, you could also drill holes in the damaged tile to break it up and remove.
Scrape away the old adhesive with the scraper. Apply new adhesive to the new tile and position it appropriately. Allow time for the new adhesive to dry and then grout the tile. A sponge can be used to clean off any excess grout.
Call a professional to do the job if you are not sure of fixing the tile by yourself, especially if the tiling is to be done in a prominent display area of your home.
Always Purchase Some Extra Tiles
Tile experts recommend buying at least 10% to 15% more tiles than you actually need for your tiling work. But there is a good reason for doing so. This calculation takes into account tile wastage and cutting that happens during a tile installation.
We recommend buying another 5% to 10% more. It always makes sense to buy more tiles than you’ll need. This will help you have a ready matching stock in case of future damages too.