10 most common questions about Tiles

10 most common questions about Tiles

1. What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?

The fundamental difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile is in the technology behind the production of these products. Porcelain tiles are the result of a more controlled manufacturing process than common ceramic tiles, made through a mixture of porcelain and various minerals, fired at over 1200 degrees Celsius. The result is more homogeneous, very dense, vitrified, and more resistant than conventional ceramics, besides being less porous and, therefore, having a very low water absorption index. Its durability is greater because of this. This makes it suitable for places with high traffic, such as airports or shopping centers. Porcelain tile glazes are known for a greater variation of colors, providing a rich custom appearance.


Ceramics, on the other hand, is composed of a mixture of clay and some minerals. Because of the small variations and irregularities, it can have a more interesting aesthetic result. 


2. What Types of Finish are There?

The finish refers to the top surface of the tiles and can be polished, glossy, satin, matt, natural.


3. Is it a durable covering?

Yes, but this depends directly on its installation. This means that the sub-floor or the base to which the tiles will be glued must be flat, stable and without irregularities. Depending on the dimensions of the piece the mortar must be used with the appropriate trowel. For large pieces, manufacturers even recommend double gluing (on the subfloor and on the back of the piece). In short, carefully following the manufacturers' recommendations is always the best thing to do. 


4. What Is a Rectified Tile?

When they go through a cutting process called rectifying, all the tiles are exactly the same size. This means that laying joints can be kept to a minimum, reducing the amount of grouting and making the tile more aesthetically pleasing.


5. How Do I Calculate How Much Tile I Will Need in My Room?

Naturally, you must know the area of your room. But it is important to allow for some leftover space for the ceramic tiles because of breaks in the construction site and cut-outs. Generally, adding 5 to 7% for cut loss is sufficient if the room is simple (square or rectangular and with few cut-outs). If the layout is diagonal, the room has a distinctive or organic shape, this means that many pieces will have to be cut out at the corners. In this case, it is important to allow for a surplus of up to 15% to avoid material shortages during installation.


6. Can a Floor Tile be Installed in the Wall? What About Wall Tiles On Floors?

Usually any floor tile can be installed on the wall. In most cases it is not appropriate to use wall tiles on the floor. Consult your installer or product manufacturer for application recommendations.


7. Can I Install Tiles Over Tiles?

Generally yes, but only if the surface below has been installed correctly and is not experiencing any problems such as warping or cracking. Generally, this is not the smartest option and can be a cost saving that will lead to other costs. It should be taken into account that the overlapping tiles will lower the ceiling height a bit, and also that the doors will have to be worked around to open normally.


8. Are they anti-slip?

To know if a piece is or is not anti-slip, it is important to know its Coefficient of Dynamic Friction (COF), which is an index of slip resistance. The higher the number, the more anti-slip the part is. Each country has its own norm in relation to this. In Brazil, for example, manufacturers follow the Brazilian Standard 13818/97, which divides the pieces into two classes:


Class I - COF less than 0.4 - Only for internal areas.


Class II - COF greater than or equal to 0.4 - Can be used in outdoor areas and are safer for shower stalls, for example.

9. How to Cut and Drill Tiles?

For straight cuts, you usually use a special tool, which scratches and then cuts the piece, allowing a good finish. For other details or cut-outs, a disc saw can be used. It is important to use the appropriate disc and in good condition for a satisfactory finish on the ceramic piece. For drilling holes, the ideal is to hire a specialized technical team to avoid cracking the piece.


10. Is it Possible to Paint Over Tiles?

Yes, but not all paints will work. Since these are highly impermeable and smooth surfaces, the paint must be highly adherent, which is why manufacturers advise epoxy paint. It is also necessary to prepare the base, following the directions on the product packaging.

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