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Below FAQ address common concerns our clients have before purchasing the tiles. If you have additional questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The creation of a beautiful well completed new or renovated bathroom, kitchen or any other area with wall or floor tile installations is a very satisfying experience.
To ensure that there are no expensive errors, regrets or on-going maintenance problems and that you actually have achieved what you intended, does usually require skill and experience from a professional tile layer.
As the tile layer registration, accreditation or endorsement is not compulsory in all states in Australia, it is sometimes a concern as to who you actually choose to install your tiles.
The following steps should be of assistance:
Ask for a written quotationIt is very important for you to know the cost involved. A written quotation demonstrates that both parties understand what work needs to be done, to achieve an excellent job. The more detail in the quote, the better, as it assists in avoiding disputes at a later date. Also, you must agree on price prior to the work starting. Ask the tiler for their references, whether they are qualified and their trade experience.
Compare PricesObtain 2 or 3 quotations. This will give you a realistic idea of how much the installation should cost. Remember that price is not the only criteria and that you may get only what you pay for.
Check ReferencesA reputable tradesperson will always allow you to make contact with 2 or 3 of their recent customers so that you can make enquiries about the quality of their work and their code of ethics.
Ask yourself these questions
Look at the complete picturePrice is not everything. Lowest prices could mean poor workmanship, but the most expensive prices do not necessarily guarantee the best workmanship.
We’re loving the innovation & design coming out of Italy at the moment; especially with the increasing range of thin porcelain tiles. Not only are they between 3.5mm & 5.5mm thick but they are also available up to an impressive 3000mm x 1000 mm in size.
Here’s a little bit of information about them:
Examples of bending:- Curved walls
E.G.:- Create the fall before laying the tile.
PRESSED OR EXTRUDED
Ceramic tiles can be formed either by pressing or extrusion. Pressed tiles are obtained from a paste that is compacted and formed by a high pressure press. Extruded tiles are formed by passing the raw materials in the form of a paste through a special tube forming a strip of clay which is then cut into tiles.
GLAZED OR UNGLAZED
Glazed tiles have a surface that is covered by a coloured layer of glaze. This gives them important design characteristics (such as colour, shininess, decoration, shades of colour etc.) and technical characteristics (such as hardness, impermeability to water etc.). All these characteristics, both technical and aesthetic, depend on the type of glaze and may vary greatlUnglazed tiles, on the other hand, are perfectly uniform both in surface and in thickness, and normally have no decoration or patterns.
RED OR WHITE BODY
Depending on the raw materials used, the body of the tiles can be coloured (any colour shade from yellow to reddish brown) or else they can be whitish (sometimes white). In glazed tiles, the colour of the body is relatively unimportant. For certain unglazed tiles, different colours can be obtained by adding colouring pigments.
WITH A VITRIFIED OR POROUS BODY
The body of a tile may be Vitrified (Impervious), otherwise it may contain ‘pores’ that are linked to one another in various ways. An extremely powerful microscope would be required to see this characteristic of the body. In order to measure porosity, the quantity of water that is absorbed in given conditions is measured. In other words, water absorption is measured. The higher the water absorption, the more Porous the body, whilst compact Vitrified structures have a low water absorption.
BI-COTTURA (DOUBLE FIRED)These tiles have been fired twice (at temperatures around 700 degrees C), usually firing the body first, then applying the glaze and marrying the two layers with a second firing. They usually have porous bodies and are suitable mainly for wall tiling.
MONOCOTTURA (SINGLE FIRED)Tiles that have been fired once at a higher temperature (around 1200 degrees C) than bi-cottura thereby creating a stronger tile which is more suitable for floor tiling, but can also be used for wall tiling.
GLAZED PORCELAINThese are tiles that have been fired and glazed (the same as normal monocottura tiles) but have a superior vitrified porcelain base.
UNGLAZED PORCELAIN (VITRIFIED TILES)Extremely dense tiles that commonly have a speckled appearance throughout the tile. Are extremely hard wearing and usually used in commercial floor tile applications (shopping centers and foyers of commercial buildings). Are fired at temperatures of up to 1350 degrees centigrade.
POLISHED PORCELAINPolished Porcelain is unglazed porcelain that is highly polished. Usually comes with beveled (arrised) edges and rectified edges providing uniformity of size allowing for close jointing to create a complete imitation of natural stone (marble). Can be used on both walls and floors. Requires an extremely flat substrate to prevent edges or corners ‘kicking up’.
RECTIFIED TILESTiles that have their edges cut by a diamond cutter or water jet cutter to produce ‘rectified’ edges calibrated to a precise size.
MOSAIC TILES (GLAZED, UNGLAZED and GLASS)Mosaic Tiles are small square tiles that are mounted on sheets rather than packed individually. They usually have a mesh backing or a specialized paper facing which assists in laying process. These tiles require a thin mortar bed and special techniques to be laid successfully.
Low maintenanceCeramic tiles are easy to maintain. Besides cleaning, there is no special maintenance involved.
Easy to cleanSweep and wash! It doesn’t get simpler and cleaner than that. Ceramic floors make excellent floors as they can be easily wipes and disinfected from spills. If the grout gets dirtier than you like, you can use a specially formulated grout cleaner to help get the dirt off.
CostCeramic tiles are cost effective. As with all tiles, the more high end the tile you choose, the higher the cost of the project; the more detailed the design, the more you’ll pay.
RepairableGot a chip or crack? Make sure to keep a few extra tiles around in the event of a crack. You can attempt to replace the tile yourself or find a handyman or tile contractor to do it for you.
Vast style and design optionsThere are literally thousands of different ceramic tiles around the world. The shapes, colors, styles and designs are vast.
Reduces household allergensUnlike carpets and rugs, tiles do not attract dust and dust mites. Homes with ceramic floor tiles have less dust in the air, making the air in your home much healthier by reducing the amount of household allergens. This is a fantastic benefit, especially for those who suffer from dust-related allergies.
Environmentally friendlyCeramic tiles are made from raw materials, including clay, sand and glass. These materials are combined with other recycled materials to form ceramic tile. Many ceramic tiles are made from recyclable content. Ceramic tiles can also help to reduce your energy use by keeping your house cooler in the summer. They also add some insulating qualities to your home for the winter.
Moisture resistantYou won’t have to worry about accumulation of moisture in ceramic tiles. You can also wash the floor with lots of water if desired. Unlike timber floors, water will not damage ceramic tiles.
FireproofNo more needs be said.
FadeproofBecause a tiles colour and pattern is fired in a kiln, the colour is chemically fixed and impervious to UV fading.
Choosing the right tilesThere are tiles for all environments however there is no one particular tile that is suitable for all situations.
Are Tiles SlipperyThere is no such thing as a non slip tile. There are many factors that contribute to a slip and fall, for example, the overall building design, contaminants on the tiles (including water), whether the person was running, walking, limping, etc., whether they were children or elderly, etc.
RegulationsAll tiles must be laid in accordance with the Australian Building Code and the appropriate Australian Standards.
Prior to Installation
During LayingAs tiling commences, make sure that the light in the room being tiled is as close as possible to the permanent lighting. Ensure the tiler mixes tiles from three or four different boxes so as to ensure proper blending of any colour variation that may exist.
As the work progresses, take time to have periodic checks:
After LayingCleaning is the next step of the installation process.
Mosaic TilesDue to the technical limitations in the manufacturing process, mosaic tiles are subject to greater shade variations than other ceramic tiles. Ensure that you are happy with the colour and shade variation before installing the tiles. Suppliers will generally credit the tiles at this point in time however no claims can be made once the tiles have been installed.
Polished Porcelain TilesOptical Hazing: Whilst polished porcelain has a glossy surface, this does not mean it has the characteristics of a mirror. In fact, it is subject to a natural phenomenon known as optical hazing, presenting a smoky haze when the surface of the tile is struck by oblique light sources, for example early morning sun, halogen and white lights.
Please see our article ‘Optical Hazing and Polished Porcelain Tiles’ for more information.
Care and MaintenanceIt is recommended that ceramic tiles should be laid after all heavy construction has been completed and that the tiles be covered during construction as debris will collect or dropped on the floor, creating damage. Cementitious residues present on the tile surface should be cleaned with a grout cleaner.
Daily Cleaning Guide
Disclaimer: This information is to be used as a guide only and should not be taken to constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation and we exclude all representations and warranties in relation to the content. All consumers should seek professional advice through their local store for their specific and individual application.
Your aim should be to:
To do this effectively we recommend these few tips:
Initial Clean after InstallationObviously, the initial clean after installation will require a more concerted effort as there will always be a bit of grout haze present. (The installer should not leave any adhesive or grout residue on the tile surface) The major portion of these contaminates will be able to be removed using easily available household cleaning agents with perhaps the necessity to use scrapers / scouring pads in hard to reach positions.
Grout and Joint CleaningAll internal corners, tiling edges, grout lines and movement joints from time to time will require some extra attention so as to ensure that no build up of contaminates occur. These areas may require specific cleaning with cleaners and scourers to return them to their original appearance.
They are ideal finishes but they do not clean themselves.
What is a Porcelain Tile?Porcelain tiles are merely a form of ceramic tiles.
What are the types of Porcelain Tile?
Cleaning Wax Residue from your TilesSometimes, in the production process, wax is added to the surface of the tile to protect it, to keep it clean and to keep it safe from scratching when in transit. There are various effective products on the market to clean this residue from the surface of the tiles and you should ask us which product is best suited to your porcelain. Prior to tiling, you should confirm with your tiler if they will remove the wax once the job is complete.
Laying Porcelain TilesIn all cases the appropriate type of adhesive must be used. The substrate must also be adequate for the material to be used, that is, the flatness of the surface is paramount. If not tile lipping may occur.
RectificationThis is a process whereby tiles are cut during manufacturing, generally with a watered diamond blade, to ensure all tiles are consistent in size.
Costs of LayingIn many cases, the end result of laid porcelain requires a very straight level surface. Therefore in some cases tilers will charge a higher rate for laying and levelling porcelain tiles.
Please also see our article ‘Optical Hazing and Polished Porcelain Tiles.’
Tiles Expo is excited to introduce our brand new range of 20mm thick outdoor porcelain pavers. Coming in a wide variety of colours, styles and finishes, this versatile collection can be installed on grass, sand or gravel and on adjustable or self-levelling supports. Ideal for pool sides, terraces and various other outdoor spaces.
The range offers customers an ideal solution for those that want the look of natural stone or timber, but with the low maintenance benefits of porcelain
These large elegant pavers are perfect for your traditional or contemporary garden, but provide the low maintenance benefits that so many homeowners now seek and are ideal to create that indoor-outdoor look.
Gardens | Pathways | Terraces | Balconies | Driveways | Stairs | Rooftops | Patios | Gazebos | Floors | Swimming Pool | Restaurants | Spas | Beach areas | Capping | Furniture