Preston based Casa Ceramicas 5 top tips for tiles for the home
PUBLISHED: 09:52 29 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:12 15 May 2015
Winner of the 2014 Tile Association Award in the category ’best use of tile in a domestic environment’ confirms Preston tile company, Casa Ceramica as the leading authority on specifying, supplying and fitting tiles. So, they are perfectly placed to answer the frequently asked questions regarding your tile selections and scheme design.
Casa Ceramica, is at the forefront of new and innovative products that solve aesthetic and practical tiling decisions around your home. The industry is moving at a fast pace and if you haven’t bought tiles recently you’ll be amazed by the choice. Duncan Cook of Casa Ceramica, tells you how to get it right first time.
1. What is a tile and what is the difference in the types available?
The word ‘tile’ comes from the Latin word ‘tegula,’ which is derived from ‘tegere’ meaning ‘to cover.’ In old English the word was ‘tigele’ which eventually turned into the word ‘tile.’
Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles are available plain or decorated and can be used on walls and floors.
Terracotta tiles are also made from local clays. Terracotta means ‘cooked earth’ and these products tend to be very absorbent; sealing is essential with this material to ensure its longevity. This can be done using more than one method depending on the desired finish.
Porcelain tiles have a very low absorbency. They are usually made from kaolin clays, feldspar, silica and colouring oxides and are fired at about 1200 degrees C. Porcelain tiles are hard wearing and can be used on walls or floors. Due to their excellent technical properties they can be used outside and now used even more than ever due to amazing manufacturing technology, which means porcelain can look just like Natural Stone but without the pitfalls of maintenance.
To see how a finished porcelain floor should look please watch the video above.
Mosaics are very small tiles first used around 1500BC; they can be glazed or unglazed and made from porcelain, ceramic, glass or natural stone or a mixture of all of them together. Again mosaic technology and design has advanced hugely with thousands of off the shelf designs available with the ability to have your own design manufactured.
Natural Stone products; limestone, marble, granite and slate are quarried from the earth. Some are extremely hard, and some quite soft. Still a very popular choice in the home and in commercial use with some quarries producing exquisite designs inlaid into the stone.
2. What considerations need to be made when choosing tiles?
•Is the tile suitable for the environment it will be used in? You wouldn’t use a soft stone in a high trafficked area of the home
•What preparation needs to be made? Some tiles can be very heavy and if used on a wall the right backing needs to be used. When tiling on floors consideration needs to be made for the correct over boarding and adhesive usage in all applications.
•Are you having floor heating? Are you aware of crack isolation matting? Using the correct adhesives and correct use of expansion joints is critical.
•Does your tiler have all the right equipment? This shouldn’t be a consideration when choosing your tiles but you should make sure your tiler has all the right equipment to guarantee correct installation of your tiles.
3.What type of tile is best for the home?
Without doubt a porcelain tile is the best choice for any application. Manufacturing technology has advanced so much that any finish and any stone type can be reproduced into a porcelain tile whether it’s marble, granite, limestone, travertine or even wood. With the better factories you literally can’t tell the difference between the real material and manufactured product. So you get the entire look but without the upkeep of a natural product and a far more technically superior product.
4. How do I maintain my tiles, especially the grout?
The correct cleaning product is essential especially if your tiles are made of natural stone. The one key thing we say to our customers is ‘rinse’. It’s very important to completely remove soiled water from the surface and grout joints otherwise it will settle and leave deposits on the tile and in the grout causing them to discolour and stain over time. We advise investing in a wet vac to help with this or simply having a clean mop and bucket when taking on your cleaning practices. Of course changing your mop often is also advised. Don’t worry though as most floors can be restored back to life.
5. What’s a large format tile?
60cm x 60cm is still considered large format by some people but again with the advances in technology tiles are more commonly now 60cm x 1200cm and up to as big as 1.5m x 3m and as thin as 3mm. With these formats and thicknesses tiling has taken on a whole new level, tiles aren’t just limited to walls and floors anymore.
Consider tiles anywhere in your home, they are now commonly used in dining areas, lounges, halls and landings – not simply your kitchen and bathrooms. Talking to an expert company will ensure a seamless installation and aesthetic investment, which will look stunning for years to come.