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Tile FAQs

What are rectified tiles?

Rectified tiles are ceramic or porcelain tiles that are made to a precise tolerance. This means they are cut to near exact measurements with a near perfect straight edge.

What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?

Porcelain tiles use a more refined clay and are fired at higher temperatures. This makes porcelain tiles denser and more durable. Porcelain tiles are considered to be a higher quality than ceramic tiles.

Tile Terminology (A glossary of tiling & tiling terms)

We know some of the language used in the tiling world can be confusing so here we explain some of the popular terms that are used.

Can all tiles be used on walls and floors?

The simple answer to this no. Walls tiles are not suitable for use on a floor. However many tiles are multi-use for walls and floors. You just need to check they are suitable for use on a floor, then they can be used on walls.

What surfaces can I tile onto?

With modern day adhesive technology it is possible to tile onto a lot of different surfaces. The secret is all about the preparation and using the correct adhesive.

What tiles should I use in a wet room?

Careful consideration should be given when choosing tiles for a wet room. With the floor of a wet room being used like a shower tray, it is important to think about how slippery the floor could get. With this in mind we recommend that the tiles for the floor of a wet room should have a high anti slip rating.

What tiles are suitable for underfloor heating?

Choosing to install underfloor heating does not diminish the choice of floor tiles you can use. As with all floor tiles, using textured floor tiles will give you more grip, especially if the floor is likely to get wet.

Can I install tiles on top of existing tiles?

In most cases you can if the existing tiles are sound and the substrate they are fixed to is sound. However, using the correct adhesive to achieve this is very important. Installing tiles on top of existing tiles does have it’s issues though.

Which tiles are suitable for use around a wood burning stove?

Tiles are fired at very high temperatures when they are manufactured, which means they can easily withstand the heat from a wood burner or stove. Some ceramic tiles might show some ‘crazing’ in the glaze, a cobweb type pattern, if they are exposed to high temperatures again. So porcelain tiles are ideal for use around a wood burner or stove.

How hardwearing are porcelain and ceramic tiles?

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are both suitable for use around the home. Ceramic tiles can be used on walls and floors, where specified, that have low foot traffic. Porcelain tiles are denser and more durable than ceramic tiles which make them much better for high foot traffic areas.

What is the maximum weight restriction for wall tiling?

Over recent years there has been high demand for larger and larger tiles. With this in mind it is important to take into consideration the weight of any tiles you are installing on your walls. Remember you need to consider the weight of any adhesive used as well as the tiles.

What is shade variation and how can I avoid it?

Manufacturers produce tiles in very large batches, sometimes 100,000m2 and larger at a time. When the manufacturer comes to reproduce the tile again, very small changes in the raw materials used to make the tiles can affect the final colour of the tiles. For this reason the manufacturer will assign a shade or batch number to each batch.

What is the caliber of a tile?

When tiles are made they are made slightly bigger than needed before firing. During the firing process the clay they are made from shrinks. Due to clay being a natural substance, the amount of shrinkage may vary from batch to batch. So tiles may vary in size. This is expressed as a tiles caliber.

Can I use PVA to prime a surface before tiling?

No, you should never use PVA to prime a surface before tiling.

What tiles are best for using outdoors?

Matt porcelain tiles are the best choice for tiling outdoors. Porcelain tiles with a textured surface will also help stop the tiles becoming slippery when wet. Natural stone tiles such as granite, slate and travertine can also be used externally.

What is a PEI rating?

A PEI rating is given to a tile to show its resistance to abrasion. The rating is carried out in line with standards from the Porcelain Enamel Institute. Machines are used to mimic different levels of traffic and footfall. A tile is then given a rating from 1-5.

Which floor tiles are anti slip?

Floor tiles are given an ‘R’ rating to show their slip resistance. The ‘R’ stands for Ramp Test. The ‘R’ rating has a scale from R9 - R13, with R9 having the least slip resistance and R13 the highest slp resistance. Below is a guide to where each ‘R’ rating is suitable for use.

Do polished porcelain tiles need sealing?

Yes polished porcelain tiles do require sealing. This is because the surface of the porcelain tile has microscopic holes in it. These are produced by the polishing process. When the tiles are being installed adhesive and grout can become stuck in these microscopic holes and produce an effect called ‘grout haze’.

Does natural stone need sealing?

Yes natural stone does need sealing before installation. This helps protect the surface of the stone from collecting dirt, adhesive and grout during installation. Natural stone also needs sealing periodically after installation to ensure the beauty of the stone is preserved.

What is the best grout for grouting worktops?

Standard wall and floor grout is not suitable for grouting worktops. Only an epoxy grout, such as Larsen's Epoxy Grout, should be used for grouting worktops.

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