Choosing the Right Tile

There are tiles for all environments but there is no such tile that is suitable for all purposes.  One cannot just choose at random, the consumer has to make an informed choice.  When choosing ceramic tiles, bear in mind the environment and the use to which the tiles will be placed; the tiles’ required design and technical functions.

 

Safety Features

The main characteristic is slip resistance.  This is fundamental for floor tiles that are to be used in homes, offices, industrial areas, and outdoors. Generally, matte finish and textured tiles have higher slip resistance than glossy tiles.

 

Design Considerations

The tiles must fit in with the furnishings and the range of objects, colors, shapes and activities that exist in the environment.  They must also match the environment’s shape, dimensions, area and lighting, etc.  This choice also depends on the personal taste and fashion, so it is difficult, andperhaps inappropriate to lay down rules.  However, thematic areas that brings about a specificambiance can be easily defined.

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS

 

The tiles should have technical characteristics and levels of resistance to stress (mechanical, chemical, thermal, etc.) that will be adequate for the environment in which they will be installed.   The greater the probable stress will be the higher the performance and the more resistant the tiles must be.

 

Floor Tiles In The Entrance

The amount of foot traffic and the stress to which the tiles are subjected will differ from one home to another.   The entrance is one of the most walked over areas of the home, but the amount of wear through abrasion to which the tiles are affected will depend on the location of the dwelling: The entrance to a condominium unit on the fourth floor will be different from the entrance of a house with sand or gravel path leading to the front door.   The wear through abrasion will be much greater in the latter, so tiles with a higher resistance to abrasion should be chosen.

 

Wall and floor tiles in the bathroom

The floor and walls of the bathroom come in contact with chemical and staining agents (e.g. cosmetics, perfumes).  Detergents that contain corrosive chemicals must sometimes be used to carefully clean them and ensure that they are hygienic.  In particular, tiles resistant to acids and alkalis must be chosen.

 

Kitchen floor and wall tiles

The kitchen floor is subjected to the greatest wear and tear of all floors.   The kitchen floor tends to be exposed to the most dirt and grease and therefore has to be cleaned more often and more vigorously.  It is also the floor that is most likely to have objects falling on it.   Floor tiles with high resistance to mechanical and chemical stress must be chosen.  Kitchen wall tiles on the other hand are less subject to mechanical stress, but are greatly subjected to chemical stress, due both to cooking and detergents.   It is recommended to use wall tiles that have high resistance to chemical stress including resistance to acids and alkalis.

 

GENERALLY, a shiny polished surface is very beautiful but is also more likely to lose the shine than non-polished surfaces, this is especially true for porcelain tiles and high-gloss tiles installed on heavy traffic areas.

 

PURCHASING THE TILES

 

It is necessary to know the area of the surface to be tiled, and to establish first the tiling technique and pattern (parallel or diagonal arrangement).

 

Remember:

1. Even a delivery of top quality tiles may contain some defective tiles (the standards permit up to 5% that may be               defective).

2. Some tiles must be cut or drilled, so that a certain number will be discarded.

3. Some tiles should be saved for any future repairs.  It is also important to have a sample to show if the consumer has       any complaints concerning the tiles.

 

About 3% to 5% extra tiles should be ordered than are actually required for the surface.  The quantity should be carefully calculated before the order is placed, to ensure one batch of required tiles are delivered (for first choice tiles-one code only) for size and shade uniformity.  Always check uniformity of size and shade of tiles upon receipt of order.