When deciding upon what type of tile to buy for your bathroom tiler to use, there are several factors which need to be understood before making an informed decision.
The area in which the tiles are to be laid is important to the material the tile is made of. For example, if tiles were to be laid in constant foot traffic areas such as bathroom floors or hallways, the strength of the tile is a key issue so in this instance.
Porcelain tiles are the suggested choice because of their hard wearing properties. There are also several hardness gradients to porcelain tiles e.g. 1-5 and 5 being the hardest.
Limestone, Sandstone, Granite, Marble, tumbled stone are all porous materials and as such need to be treated with extra care and need a degree of maintenance and aftercare so as to maintain their appearance and structural integrity.
Whatever the circumstance, our tiler at Prestige Bathroom Installations will advise our clients what style, size, and material of tile would best suit their application. For a quick overview let’s take a look at the types of tiles available and other things to look for when selecting tiles for your bathroom.
Non-porcelain is the first tile of the ceramic tile family. Production materials consist of various clays and natural materials that are formed and kiln fired at high temperatures.
Porcelain tile production is similar to non-porcelain, except that finer porcelain clays are used and are kiln fired at significantly higher temperatures than non-porcelain.
This process enhances the porcelain’s durability and density by decreasing tile porosity and minimizing moisture and stain absorption.
Glazed and unglazed ceramic tile offers a variety of benefits. The glaze adds colour and design elements. Microscopic pores are sealed, improving stain resistance and making cleanup easier.
However, tile is more slippery and isn’t recommended for installation if looking to minimize slipperiness. Unglazed porcelain is homogeneously coloured, making scratches or chips less visible.
However, in the process of adding the glaze, porcelain does sometimes lose its colour saturation. Unglazed non-porcelain tile resembles terracotta. Unfortunately, since non-porcelain is not uniformly coloured from top to bottom, scratches and chips are more evident.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) provides wear and durability ratings for tile manufactures, domestically and worldwide. Ceramic tile is given a PEI rating for its durability and recommended application usage pending on its issued rating.
Recommended applications vary from no foot traffic with PEI one-rated tile to PEI five-rated tile, which the most durable tile rating is given for heavy-duty residential, commercial or institutional applications. Be sure to check the PEI ratings before making that final tile selection.
One major difference between porcelain and non-porcelain has to do with water absorbency. Because porcelain is made with refined porcelain clays and fired at higher kiln temperatures, these tiles are less than 0.5 percent water absorbent.
Non-porcelain tiles, however, are no less than 0.5 percent water absorbent. In installation sites with moisture or freeze-thaw issues, non-porcelain is less than suitable because the level of water absorbed makes these tiles more prone to damage.
However, some manufacturers do produce non-porcelain tiles with porcelain-like properties.
Installing ceramic tiles is time-consuming. With regard to maintenance, if glazed tiles are installed, sealant is not required because the glaze itself acts as a stain blocker. Unglazed tile, though, will be more susceptible to stain and should be sealed annually to help prevent stains from setting in the tile.
Porcelain and ceramic have been mentioned but there are other types of tile material that could be used such as Granite/Limestone/Sandstone/Terracotta/Glass mosaics etc. Prestige tilers will endeavor to match our clients with the tile best suited to their project and instruct on the best aftercare so as to maintain the integrity of the particular product.
The type of tile adhesive is dependent on the surface the tiles are to be adhered to and of the tile material also. There are many different backgrounds with different characteristics to how the adhesive performs its simply not a case of one tile adhesive fits all scenarios.
Prestige Bathroom Installation tilers will match the relevant tile adhesive to the particular tile format chosen. Aftercare will be catered for on the initial installation which would involve sealing porous tiles with an impregnator which would have to be redone at certain intervals periodically.
Choosing the grout for the particular tile and environment is also required as there are many variants available. The flexibility of the grout and waterproof properties are the main differences along with colour types which will all be matched to the circumstance and the with clients approval.
Prestige bathroom tilers always use microban in all tiling applications. This type is always used by us in all tiling applications.