When planning a project or selecting tiles, it helps to have someone on your side to bounce ideas around with. They shine a light on issues before they become problems, and give you fresh ideas to try.
The staff at Why Not Tiles are professional, friendly and extremely helpful.
They have the answers to all your questions, or know where to find them, and are the best people to talk to about the latest styles.
We are committed to helping in any way we can. Below are a few of the most asked questions from our customers. Or check out the blog for other tips, tricks and styles.
Before you start tiling ensure you have sufficient tiles to complete the job, we recommend adding 10% to your measurements to cater for any cuts that you might need to make, spare tiles for future maintenance, and possible breakages when tiling.
It is always important to have some tiles left over from your tiling project for future maintenance, for example if you need to replace a cracked or broken tile, as the same batch that you have used may not be available at a later date. Like any product, often tiles are discontinued from a manufacturer’s tile range and new stock replaces the tile you have. Years later when you need an extra metre or so to make repairs or simple replace a cracked or broken tile you may not be able to get the extra tiles you need in the same batch as the ones on you have used.
Remember tiles are made in batches, and once a particular tile batch is sold out the next batch may have variations in the colour, pattern ect, matching tiles exactly from different batches is nearly impossible.
Having a few tiles left over will make replacing that cracked tile much easier.
Whether you are tiling an entire house, or just replacing a cracked or broken tile there are some basic tiling tools needed to complete the job correctly.
Some of the basic tiling tools that may be required for a DIY tiling project are listed below:
- Notched Trowel
- Grouting Float
- Tile Nipper
- Tile Spacers and/or wedges
- Spirit Level
- Tile CleanerTile Sealer (for porous tiles)
- Grout Sealer
- Tile Cutter – Available for hire at Why Not Tiles
Our staff are on hand to help you with everything you need, whether you are an experienced tiler or a beginner we can help you.
Porcelain tiles as we know them today were first pioneered in Italy.
Porcelain Tiles are made from a more pure blend of high quality clay, than that is commonly used in a “normal” ceramic production.
The use of a high silica content gives the porcelain product, once fired, the following characteristics :
- Low water absorption
- High chemical resistance
- High abrasion resistance
Glazed Porcelain Tiles
Glazed Porcelain Tiles have a porcelain tile body that is glazed in a traditional manner.
They are resilient single fired tiles with excellent porosity values and have a high resistant to impact damage.
There are many types of tiles available:
Bicottura is an Italian word meaning “double-fired”. A similar procedure that breaks the firing process in two phases. The clay body is baked in the first step and the glaze is applied in the second. In reality, Bicottura tiles may go through the kiln as many as four times. The Bicottura method is considered as the best method when decorative wall tiles with multiple colours are required. Bicottura tiles are used mostly for indoor locations as wall tiles because of their softer bodies.
Monocottura is an Italian word meaning “single-fired”. It is the newest method used to produce ceramic tiles. In this process individual tiles are shaped, glazed and fired in one step at the one time. The development of this technology has revolutionised the tile industry. Improving the quality of the finished product.
Full Bodied Porcelain
Porcelain tile is a tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%), than non-porcelain tiles.
Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic.
Natural Stone eg: Marble, Granite ect.
There are a number of different natural stone tiles available including marble, granite, travertine and limestone. They have different levels of porosity and hardness. As this is a natural occurring product made by the earth no two tiles will look exactly the same. All of these products must be sealed.
These are machine cut tiles where the top and the edge of the tile form a 90° angle. Giving a cleaner finish and less variation between individual tiles.
There are specific guidelines as to the use of tiles in outdoor areas. Pool tiles and external tiles are required to have a slip resistant surface to comply with Australian Standards. We recommend that you refer to the Australian Standards Guide to slip resistance before choosing your external tiles.
These tiles are high quality decorative products to compliment the broad range of ceramic tiles already available. These tiles include glass mosaics, listellos, natural stone borders, fascia tiles, tozzettos and insertos.
Polished Porcelain Tiles can look great in your home, but there are a few things you should know when choosing your tiles.
1. Porcelain Tiles:
Porcelain Tiles are generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, fine grained and smooth. Porcelain tiles have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%). Some full body porcelain tiles carry the colour and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed, or a high polished finish.
Porosity is be definition the ratio of voids to solids in a tile. It is measured by the amount of water a tile can hold expressed as a percentage of its own weight. Porosity is the main reason why porcelain tiles are susceptible to staining.
Pores by definition are holes and or openings on the outer surface of an animate or inanimate object. Surface pores are created due to the honing and polishing process and not measured in a quantifiable manner and hence are not part of the ceramic or porcelain standards. Pores are another characteristic why porcelain tiles stain.
Polished porcelain tiles are different to other ceramic tiles in that they are unglazed. It is therefore recommended that, unless advised otherwise these tiles should be sealed.
5. Nano Technology:
Nano Technology is a sealing process in which polished porcelain is treated with Nano Technology manufactured sealers at the factory. This process eliminated the requirement of sealing after installation as the tile is already treated. This in-turn extends the reaction time for removing a staining agenda and in-turn reduces the staining characteristics or Porosity and Pores.
6. Optical Hazing:
Whilst polished porcelain has a glossy surface, the latter does not mean it has the characteristics of a mirror and therefore will not perform as a mirror. As such it is subject to a natural phenomenon known as optical hazing, presenting as a smoking haze when the surface of the tiles is struck by oblique light sources: for example, early morning sun, halogen and white lights.
The effects of optical hazing can be minimised by careful planning, such as the use of curtains and blinds and the careful placement of furniture.
Ceramic Tiles are ideal barriers against dust mites which can trigger an asthma attack, allergies or other health problems.
Tiles are easy to clean and low maintenance tiles require little more than dusting and the occasion damp mopping to keep looking like new.
The large range of sizes, shapes, colours and textures of tiles that are available allows endless choices to make full use of your creative talents and design your room exactly according to your style and budget.
Before you even to begin to tile, there are a few things you should check on:
- Ensure you have sufficient amount of tiles to complete the job as the same batch of tiles, in the shade you need, may not be available at a later date.
- Ensure your measurements are accurate and add 10% for cuts, spares, and possible breakages.
- Check on the position of your border tiles, feature tiles and tozzettos etc before you start.
- Ensure the substrates are prepared correctly and are suitable for tiling.
- Ensure all wet areas and showers are waterproofed.
Any DIY job can be stressful, especially when it doesn’t go to plan, however following these simple guidelines can help avoid problems and disappointment in the future.
In the MOHS scale, high gloss tiles are usually rated with a hardness of 3 (calcite), while sand (silica), is around 7. Hence, sand or even other substances with a higher MOHS rating can easily scratch the surface of high gloss tiles.
Care for Gloss Tiles
Gloss tiles can add glamour and beauty to a room. However some extra care needs to be taken to keep the beauty of these tiles.
Ceramic tiles with highly glossy finishes are vulnerable to visible scratches. In the tile industry it is generally accepted that tiles with a glossy finish have a lower scratch resistance.
How to avoid scratches
Care for glossy tiles start from the very beginning (the unboxing). When removing tiles from boxes, avoid pulling the tiles out individually, as the dragging of the tiles may scratch the surface of the next tile. It is best to remove the whole stack from the box and then lift each piece individually. If further work on the project still needs to be done after tiling, make sure the glossy floor surface is protected by a suitable covering. A clean tarpaulin or a quilt will do the job.
Regular maintenance is required. Sweep the floors to remove any abrasive dirt such as sand before mopping, as the sand or other abrasive dirt will cause scratches on the surface of the gloss tile.
Do not drag or pull anything across a glossy tiled surface. For example when moving furniture, it is best to lift the furniture up to re-position it where needed, then setting it down.
Place a good doormat to trap dirt at the doorstep. This is especially important when the glossy area is close to an external door.