|PORCELAIN||A porcelain tile is a ceramic tile that has a low level of water absorption (less than 3%). It is referred to as “vitrified”. They can be glazed or unglazed. Unglazed may be considered suitable for exterior use as they will withstand freeze/thaw conditions and provide a slip-resistant surface.
A porcelain is a good choice where you can expect high traffic or impacts like a family’s kitchen floor.
|CERAMIC||Ceramic tile comes in many different sizes, types, finishes and strengths. Glazed ceramic tile is durable, sanitary, easy to clean, resistant to staining, does not decay and will not fade.
Ceramic tile comes in many different colours and textures. Many have the appearance of natural stone with a dependably consistent appearance and ease of maintenance.
|WALL TILE||A wall tile is not expected to withstand much stress so it typically has the softest “bisque” or body and less durable glazes. You may not use a wall tile on the floor as
it is not designed to take the heavier wear.
You can however use a floor tile on the wall. This is an increasing popular choice and lends itself to many striking design possibilities.
|FLOOR TILE||Floor tiles have a wide variety of characteristics. The body of the tile and the glaze variety depending on the moisture content and the scratch resistance and the hardness.
Not all areas need the hardest toughest tile though. An
area such as a guest bathroom or powder room can have a relatively light duty tile. Your family circumstances and the area of the house dictates what tile will be suitable for which area.
|NATURAL STONE||Natural stone is an elegant, unique and presitigious floor and wall covering choice. There are several considerations that you need to take into account before you choose natural stone for your home. Stone is generally a more expensive choice than ceramic tile. In general, you cannot guarantee a consistent look as stone can vary widely within the same carton and from lot to lot as the location of the quarrying can change the whole look of the stone. Most stones require period sealing and some stones are prone to staining. Highly polished surfaces may scratch easily in higher traffic areas.
Taking these points into consideration, natural stone can be a very beautiful choice for your home. We can give you all the information you need to choose the right stone for the right area.
|SEALING||Sealing is done to protect the surface of grout, natural stone or unglazed tiles (ie. terracotta) against staining and dirt and to provide a matte or gloss finish to stone surfaces.
Sealing is not required and is in fact undesirable for glazed surfaces. Ask us for advise on what products to use for your circumstances.
|SLIP RESISTANCE||Slip-resistance is always a concern and it is always necessary to check the floors Coefficient of Friction rating.
An unglazed tile has a greater slip-resistance than glazed tiles and are commonly recommended in areas subject to high water spillage.
The slip-resistance of ceramic tile in ordinary applications is comparable to that of most hard surface flooring materials and it is significantly better than some. Take into account the fact that a wet floor will be a slippery floor no matter what the surface composition.
|PEI Rating is given to glazed tiles to grade the durability of the glaze to wear abrasion.
|WATER ABSORPTION||The relative water absorption of a tile is a good indicator of the durability of a tile.
Floor tile with a water absorption between 4% to 6% are the lowest acceptable industry limit for daily residential tiles.
Floor tiles that have an absorption rate between 0.5% and 3% are referred to as vitrified. This is the most desirable quality range for ceramic tile for most applications.
Tile that have an absorption rate of less than 0.5% are often referred to as commercial porcelain or stoneware.
|VARIATION||Ceramic tiles may have a variation rating. Some tiles are very even and consistant in colour and pattern. The only variation you need to take into account would be a dye lot variation from different batches of tile. Other tiles, particularily those than are made to simulate natural stones may vary widely and you will need to view several tiles for an accurate idea of how these tiles will look when installed.
Ask for information about variation when you select your tile.