showroomtilex400With timeless beauty and long-wearing durability, ceramic, porcelain and stone tile flooring create a unique look that's as practical as it is personal.

Perfect in kitchens and baths, where moisture resistance and easy maintenance are essential. Its impact and scratch-resistant properties make it ideal for family and recreation rooms.

Create a Contemporary Look with a Classic Choice.You'll find innovative designs in ceramic, porcelain and stone tile that are as affordable as they are appealing. All ceramic tile share unique and exceptional qualities found in no other type of decorative building products.

CERAMIC TILE’S MAKE UP:

All of the raw materials that go into making ceramics come from the earth, including the colors of glaze… and this is a real testament to the quality of the product. While there have been successful methods to improve most products by substituting natural materials with synthetic, like vinyl and carpet, there are no such methods to improve the quality of the raw materials found in ceramics. They have changed very little over the past thousand years.

 

 

Clay Body Facts

  • The clay body, which is also called the bisque, consists of various types of clay and other minerals. Combined, these raw materials give the bisque its strength and stability.
  • The strength of the bisque is also determined by its density. The strongest bisques, those suited for heavy commercial installations, have the smallest and least number of air pockets.
  • The density of clay also determines if the tile is suitable for outdoor use. Tiles that are too porous, absorbing more than 3% moisture will freeze and crack if installed outdoors in cold climates.
  • The density of the tile is measured by the amount of water it absorbs.
    • Non-Vitreous Tiles – absorb 7% or more of their weight in water. Suited for indoor use only.
    • Semi – Vitreous Tiles – absorb 3% to 7% water. Suited for indoor use only
    • Vitreous Tiles – absorb 0.5% to 3% water. Suited for both interior and exterior use.  They are frost resistant.
    • Impervious Tiles – absorb between 0 and 0.5% of their weight in water. Suited for both interior and exterior use.  They are frost resistant.  They are also considered the strongest tile.

showroomtile2Abrasion resistance:

 How will a tile’s glaze or surface hold up under continuous wear? This is a very important consideration when choosing any glazed floor tile. Commercial areas, as well as areas of the home subjected to heavy usage, such as kitchens or foyers, demand good abrasive resistance. If the right product is chosen and if it is maintained properly, (kept free of sand and grit), it could easily last the lifetime of the home.

 

NOTE: Abrasion resistance is not a factor when selecting an unglazed tile.

Water absorption:

The glaze on ceramic tile is non-porous.  Therefore, when referring to water absorption, it pertains only to the tile’s body. The water absorption of the tile is important to know in order to make the right selection for outdoor use. If the tile absorbs more than 3% moisture, it is not suited for outdoor use in cold climates where it may freeze and crack.

Frost resistance:

Frost resistance goes hand in hand with water absorption. The less water the tile absorbs, the greater it’s frost resistance. Your labels will clearly identify those tiles which are frost resistant.

Stain resistance:

Ceramic material in general is the most stain resistant building product in the world. Glazed tile and even some unglazed tiles resist practically all solutions that could cause staining in other types of products.

Slip resistance:

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. Unglazed tiles have greater slip resistance than glazed tiles and are recommended for areas subjected to high water spillage. Many glazed and unglazed tiles also feature an abrasive grit on their surface, increasing their slip resistance substantially. These tiles are particularly suited to public areas with direct access to the outdoors.

Color permanence:

While most colored materials will be altered by long exposure to light, colors in ceramic tiles are unaffected and will not change or fade from exposure.

Dirt resistance:

Ceramic tiles do not retain dust or residues. Plain water or a damp cloth is generally all that is required to keep the tile clean. With the exception of tiles such as Terra-cotta, which may be optionally oiled or waxed, no polishing or buffing is necessary to maintain the finish.

Fire resistance:

Ceramic tiles are completely fire-proof at any temperature. They will not burn nor fuel a fire. The surface will not alter, nor will it give off any toxic gases, smoke or fumes during a fire.

In addition to being fire-proof, tiles have also been found to provide protection for structural surfaces during fires.

Hygiene:

The face of ceramic tiles will not retain liquids, absorb fumes, odors, or smoke.  This allows for good hygiene. Tiles are suited for any environment where hygiene is essential.


Facts About the Glaze:

The glaze is a liquid glass that has been sprayed or poured onto the surface of the tile. It is then fused and hardened by means of tremendous heat. The colors of the glaze are made from a mixture of minerals such as gold, silver, zinc, copper, mercury, cobalt and many others. The strength and wear resistance of the glaze is determined by its hardness. The following factors may effect this hardness:

·           Temperature  - The higher the temperature of the kilns (ovens) the harder the glaze.

·           Colors  -  Dark color glazes such as blacks and blues are usually softer than light colored ones.

·           Gloss Levels – Shiny glazes are usually softer than matte or satin finished glazes.

Difference between glazed and unglazed tiles:

Glazed Tiles – are made the same as unglazed except that a glass wear-layer, called a glaze, is fused to its surface by means of tremendous heat.

Unglazed Tiles - are true inlaid. They are simply baked pieces of clay whose colors run throughout the body.

Characteristics of glazed and unglazed tiles:

Glazed Tiles:

·        Most glazed tiles are not suited for heavy commercial installations. They are generally suited for light residential to medium commercial use.

·        Technology for glazes has improved dramatically over the past few years. There are new glazes on the market that are hard and durable enough to use in heavy commercial applications.

Gloss Levels:

·        Glazed ceramic tile varies in gloss levels depending on the look the manufacturer wants to achieve. Levels can range from matte, satin, or high gloss.

·        Generally speaking, the higher the gloss, the softer the glaze. Areas of the home that don’t receive heavy wear, such as bathrooms, use a higher gloss level than heavy traffic areas such as kitchens.

Advantages:

·        The glaze offers the manufacturers the ability to produce an unlimited array of beautiful colors and designs.

·        The non-porous glaze creates a smooth surface that is practically stain proof.

Unglazed Tiles:

·        Unglazed tiles are the workhorses of the industry. They are generally thicker and denser than glazed tiles. Some common types are quarry tiles and porcelains.

·        The tough inlaid qualities of most unglazed tiles makes them ideally suited for, but not limited to, extra heavy commercial installations.

·        Many customers appreciate the natural qualities and beauty of unglazed tiles and choose them for residential areas.

·        Generally, the color range of unglazed tiles is limited to the natural colors of clay…ranging from a light sand to a red brick, but there are exceptions.

·        Some manufacturers achieve a wide range of beautiful colors by mixing color pigments in the clay.

Advantage of unglazed tiles:

·        Superior strength for heavy commercial use as well as residential.

·        The rugged surface texture and matte finish of the unglazed tile give them superior “slip resistant” qualities for use in wet areas.


Facts About Floor And Wall Tile:

Wall Tile:

·        Any ceramic tile is suitable for walls, but the very thin, high glossed and decorative tiles are most commonly used.
·        The most popular size for wall tile is still 4 ¼” x 4 ¼”, but there appears to be a trend taking place for larger,
         more luxurious tiles.
·        Wall tiles have a very soft glaze and porous body and therefore should never be used on floors or for
         outdoor applications.

Floor Tile:

·        These tiles, glazed or unglazed, have sufficient strength, impact and abrasion resistance to withstand weight and
          foot traffic.
·        They are usually thicker, denser and heavier than wall tiles.
·        If the substrate is strong enough to support the weight, floor tiles may also be used on walls and counter tops.

SHADING AND SIZING:

Shading:

·        Many tiles, both glazed and unglazed, are deliberately produced with a wide shade variation to capture the natural beauty of the product.
·        A certain degree of shade variation is inherent in all ceramic tile.
·        The manufacturers limit the amount of shade variation within a carton by sorting the tile as it comes off the production line.  Also, the shade and run numbers are
         marked on each carton.
·        To minimize any noticeable shade variations, the installers work out of several cartons simultaneously.  In doing so, they are able to blend the tiles together.

Sizing:

·        The sizes of the tiles will vary slightly. This is inherent with most tiles.
·        Most manufacturers will keep sizing to an acceptable level by sorting the tile by size prior to packing it.
·        The grout joints will conceal slight size variations.

NOTE: If either the sizing or shading is too apparent, the installer should not set the tile.

Normal vs. Actual Sizing:

            Although most tile is advertised and sold by nominal sizes such as 8”x 8” or 12”x 12” the actual sizes will be more like 7 7/8” x 7 7/8” or 11 7/8” x 11 7/8”.


Ceramic tile is a mixture of clays and other natural materials that are mined from the earth, shaped and fired at high temperatures. Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally-colored and left unglazed, like terra cotta, or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) from matte to high gloss.

Porcelain tiles are also ceramic tiles, but are composed of finer clays and fired at much higher temperatures. That process makes porcelain tile more homogenous (can have a through-body coloration, so scratches or dings are less obvious), much stronger and less prone to moisture and stain absorption. For those reasons, porcelain can be suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations.

Natural Stone tiles consist of any product quarried from the earth and can be categorized into Marbles, Granites, Limestones, Travertines, Slates, Quartzites and various other products. Each type of Natural Stone will vary from piece to piece in regards to color, surface texture, edge treatments, durability and maintenance.

Marble: Metamorphic stone formed millions of years ago due to the action of extreme heat and pressure. Marble is simply "changed" limestone that, due to the heat and pressure, has crystallized, melted and re-cooled. Coloring is extremely varied and often accompanied with lots of veining and other mineral deposits.

  • Granite: Igneous stones formed millions of years ago under conditions of extreme heat. Hard and crystalline in nature, granite is most often seen polished.
  • Limestones: Sedimentary stone formed millions of years ago due to the action of water and extreme pressure. Fossilized seashells and other sea life and treasures are often found in limestone. Primarily light beige and tan in coloring.
  • Travertines: Sedimentary stone formed millions of years ago due to the action of water and heat. Water and gases percolating through the stone give travertine its characteristic holes.
  • Slates: A metamorphic stone formed millions of years ago and derived from sedimentary rock. Slate is normally split (cleft) rather than cut with a saw as other stones are. Coloring can vary widely and wildly. Typically, slate is not "finished", as the natural cleft surface is its focal point and source of interest and beauty.
  • Quartzites: A rock formed from the metamorphism of quartz sandstone consisting essentially of quartz in interlocking grains.
  • Tumbled: Stone finish achieved by putting the stones in a machine that “tumbles” the stones around together causing an uneven rough surface and edges. This finish has a rustic appeal.

Glass tiles can be either cast glass, layered or laminated glass, fused glass or cut glass- each with its own unique appearance and translucency.

  • Cast glass: A solid product that consists of a hot liquid that is poured and then cooled. The color is either applied to the back of the tile, or within the glass itself.
  • Layered or Laminated glass: A layered product that literally "sandwiches" different pieces of glass together. It is then heated, or fused together to create one unit.
  • Cut glass: A large piece of glass cut into smaller pieces, similar to mosaics.
  • Fused glass: Similar to layered glass, whereas different pieces are fused together to create one piece, however fused glass is more artistic and can utilize different shapes of glass to create one piece (for example a triangular piece fused to a square piece).

Metal tiles are referred to as anything that is solid metal, a metal laminate, a metallic glaze, a metal and resin composite or simply a tile that gives an illusion of metal with a lustrous finish.

Resin tiles consist of either stone or cement particles mixed with an epoxy or other chemical to increase durability and allow for limitless options in shape and texture.


How to choose the type of tile that is right for you -

Where is the tile being installed?

The most important factor to consider when choosing a type of tile, is where it will be installed. Not all tiles are suitable for all applications. However, whatever type of tile you choose, if it is installed properly, it will bring a lifetime of function and beauty to any installation.

Glazed products perform according to the hardness of their glaze. This hardness is determined by the manufacturer and rated using a PEI scale (Porcelain Enamel Institute). This PEI rating will determine the proper usage of each product.

PEI I

Tiles suitable for interior wall application.

PEI II

Tiles suitable for residential bathrooms where softer footwear is worn.

PEI III

Tiles suited to general residential traffic, except kitchens, entrance halls,  and other areas subjected to continuous heavy use.

PEI IV

Tiles suited for all residential and light to medium commercial areas.

PEI V+

Tiles suitable for heavy traffic and wet areas where safety and maximum performance are a major concern such as exterior hallways, food service, salad bars, building entrances, around swimming pools or shopping centers.

NOTE: All tiles are suitable for interior wall use.

Many tiles have a glazed surface. Glaze is liquid glass that is sprayed or poured onto the surface of the tile. It is then fused to the body of the tile using tremendous heat during the firing process. Strength and wear resistance are determined by its hardness. The following factors will have an effect on the glaze hardness:

  • Temperature – Higher temperatures result in harder glaze.
  • Color – Dark glaze colors such as blacks and blues are usually softer than the lighter color glazes.
  • Gloss Level – Shiny glazes are usually softer than matte or satin finished glazes.

What if your tile is not glazed? Since unglazed products do not have a glaze, they do not have a PEI rating, but can be installed anywhere - interior or exterior. However, unglazed tiles are more susceptible to staining and mold. It is not advised to install these products in wet areas, unless the tile will be maintained with a penetrating sealer on a regular basis.

What look do you want?

The shading and texture of the product are other factors to consider. Do you want tiles with a smooth surface or a rough, textured surface? Do you want the tiles to all look the same, or have some or a lot of variation for a unique installation? Whatever the look you decide, keep in mind that shade variation is inherent in all fired products. Many tiles are deliberately produced with a wide shade variation in order to capture the natural beauty of the product.

Shade and Texture Index

Low

Moderate

High

Very High

Shade Variation

Shade Variation

Shade Variation

Shade Variation

LSV

Differences among pieces from the same production run are minimal.

MSV

Clearly distinguishable texture and/or pattern within similar colors.

HSV

While the colors present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of the colors to be expected on the other tiles, the amount of colors on each piece may vary significantly.

VHSV

Random color differences from tile to tile, so that one tile may have totally different colors from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique.

NOTE: Shade variation is an inherent characteristic of ceramic tile. Always make color selection from a product sample. Since the shipment may vary from samples, please inspect the entire shipment before installing. During installation, cartons must be mixed. Installation constitutes acceptance of the product.


 TILE INSTALLATON

Q:  How difficult is it to install ceramic tile?

A:  When using the thin-set method in residential areas, it is rather simple. It is easier to install than wood or vinyl sheet goods, but slightly more difficult than vinyl tile. In fact, the subfloor preparation, layout and installation are very similar to vinyl tile. The only major different is grouting.

With proper planning and a little common sense, practically anyone can install ceramic tile using the thin-set method. 

STEPS OF INSTALLATION - The following information is a brief description of the various steps involved in using the thin-set method to install tile. It is not meant to be an instruction manual but rather a briefing to familiarize you with the basics.

1st Step:

Subfloor preparation – This is the most important step in accomplishing a satisfactory installation. The subfloor must meet the following requirements:

Structurally sound

  • Rigid
  • Smooth and flat
  • Free of waxy or oily films
  • Free of curing compounds

2nd Step:               

Floor layout – In this step, the room is squared off and measured. The chalk lines are then snapped. Once the chalk lines are in place, the installer will lay loose tile across the floor in both directions to balance the room so that the cut-lines are the same size on each wall.

3rd Step:                 

Preparing the tiles – Slight tone variations are to be expected from tile to tile. A good installer will prevent this from becoming a problem by mixing the tiles from several cartons before installing. By doing this, the tiles blend together and any possible shade variations will disappear.

4th Step:                  

Spreading the thin-set – Using the chalk lines as a guide, the installer will begin applying the thin-set on one section at a time. He will spread one coat using the flat side of the trowel and then immediately come back with a second coat, using the notched side of the trowel.

5th Step:                  

Laying the tiles – The tiles are then placed one at a time in the thin-set using a twisting and pressing motion while allowing appropriate spacing for the grout. A straight edge is used to align the tile.

6th Step:                  

Tamping – The tiles are then tamped in using a rubber mallet to assure good contact with the thin-set.

7th Step:                  

Grouting – The installer will generally begin grouting the following day. It is important to allow the thin-set enough time to set up before applying the grout. The grout applied over a small section at a time and is spread by means of a rubber float or squeegee. Rubbing the grout firmly over the surface will both push the grout into joints and clean off most of the excess.  After approximately ten minutes the surface of the tile is cleaned with a damp cheese cloth. 


WALL TILE INSTALLATION

1st Step:                

Wall preparation – As with the subfloor, it is very important that the walls meet the following requirements:

·        Clean
·        Dry
·        Plumb and even

2nd Step:              

Wall Layout – Using a level, the installer will draw horizontal and vertical lines in the center of each wall as a starting point. The entire room is planned so the horizontal line runs continuous on each wall. The installer lays out a loose row (without adhesive) of tile and adjusts the starting lines so that he has equal size cuts on both sides of the wall.

3rd Step:                 

Preparing the tiles – As with floor tiles, the installer will mix the tiles from several cartons to limit any possibility of shade variations.

4th Step:               

Spreading the thin-set – The tin set is applied using a notched trowel. The installer will do a small area at a time so that he can adjust the tiles while the adhesive is still wet.

5th Step:   

Laying the tile – Each tile is set using a slight twisting motion while pressing firmly into place. The tiles are then aligned so that all grout joints are straight. Since few corners are perfectly plumb, the installer will mark and cut the tie at the end of each row to fit the corner. The installer will clean any excess adhesive off the face of the tile before spreading the next section of the wall.

6th Step:                 

Grouting – After waiting about 24 hours the installer will apply the grout using a rubber trowel or squeegee. After 10 minutes the surface is cleaned. 


SUITABLE AND UNSUITABLE SUBSTRATES

FLOORS

Suitable Subfloors: All subfloors that are structurally sound and free of excessive movement are suitable for tiling over. They include:

·        Concrete

·        Terrazzo or natural stone

·        Ceramic tile

·        Non cushioned vinyl and linoleum

·        Cement back boards

·        Double layered plywood (exterior grade)

Unsuitable Subfloors: These are not suitable because they tend to flex, expand and contract or warp. Any excessive movement will loosen the tile and pop the grout. These subfloors must be replaced or covered with a suitable underlayment.

·        Cushioned vinyl

·        Perimeter installed vinyl

·        Single layered plywood

·        Flake board

·        Particle board

·        Chip board

·        Stripped wood

·        Luan plywood

WALLS

Suitable Substrates

·        Concrete or masonry

·        Drywall (dry areas only)

·        Plaster

·        Cement backer boards

·        Plywood (dry areas only)

·        Ceramic tile

Unsuitable Substrates

·        Paneling

·        Wallpaper

·        Masonite


SELECTING THE RIGHT INSTALLATION METHOD:

Important: This is without a doubt, the most important statement! “Poorly prepared substrates and the use of improper setting materials are the cause of practically all major installation failures. Certain types of substrates and job conditions require ‘special treatment.’ These treatments are neither expensive, time consuming or complicated. To ignore or deviate from them would be the equivalent of play Russian roulette.”

Here is a description of installation materials:

·        Thin-set mortar – is a mixture of Portland cement and sand used to adhere the tile to the substrate.

·        Latex Portland cement mortar* – is the same as the thin-set mortar except that a special latex or acrylic is added. The latex gives the mortar flexibility and additional bonding strength. The flexibility is required when going over substrates that may experience minor movement. The additional adhesion strength is needed when setting tile over hard-to-bond surfaces

·        Mastic – is a pre-mixed adhesive paste similar to a vinyl adhesive.

·        Membranes – are used to separate the tile and mortar from the substrate. They are made to resist tile damage caused by minor substrate cracks, minor movement and water damage to the substrates.

·        Cement Backer Boards – are lightweight concrete sheets that are used to cover wood subfloors. They are also used as underlayment for “wet” areas such as shower walls and tub enclosures. 

*Caution: Not all latex and acrylic additives are designed to do the same job. For example, some are not recommended over wood. Some are for interior use only. Some are not suited for going over cut-back adhesive, etc. The best way to handle this is to have your supplier develop a cross reference list that matches the proper setting materials with the job conditions.


MAINTENANCE:

The beauty of tile lies on more than just the surface. Tile is a timelessly popular surfacing choice thanks to its

durability and cleanability. Whether used on floors, walls or countertops, tile needs minimal maintenance to keep it looking great for years. The steps below will keep your tile installation looking like new.

Floors

Simple daily cleaning is all it takes to keep tiled floors in their prime. Here are some quick ways to care for tile

floors:

• Sweep, vacuum or dust-mop floors regularly to remove gritty particles.

• Gently remove any stuck-on debris with a putty knife or nylon scouring pad.

• Damp-mop with routine cleaners.

• Allow to dry, or if the tile’s finish is highly polished, wipe dry to avoid water spots.

Important tips for maintaining tile floors:

• Never use abrasive cleaners. Like tracked-in dirt, they may dull a shiny finish. If not using a professionally

suggested product, carefully check the product labels to make sure they do not contain abrasives that may

discolor grout.

• Avoid acidic cleaners, as they may harm grout with prolonged exposure.

• Heavily soiled or neglected floors may require the use of a wide selection of products, depending on the

problem.

• Place a mat outside each door and a rug just inside to collect dirt before it gets onto the floor.

• It is recommended to seal light-colored grouts to reduce ongoing maintenance and porosity.

Walls

Tile walls are typically installed in bathrooms and kitchens, where we often use abrasive household cleaners. A basic rule of thumb is to always avoid abrasive cleaners when maintaining tiled walls. Abrasive cleaners may dull a glossy tile’s finish, creating a rough surface that will actually attract soap scum and grime.

Important tips for maintaining tile walls:

• In the bathroom, clean the wall surface with a sponge and a non-abrasive routine cleaner.

• In the kitchen, a regular and thorough wiping with a routine cleaner will keep tile

backsplashes and walls spotless.

Countertops:

Tile’s durable beauty makes it an excellent surface choice for countertops and will survive years of use with style. As with other surfaces, simply avoid abrasive cleansers and clean up spills immediately. To remove a dried spill, use a sponge, hot water and a routine or stain specific cleaner. Most stains can be removed with a nylon-bristle brush or nylon-scouring pad. Also, as food may come in contact with your countertop, make sure the cleaner you use does not leave a harmful residue.

Notes:

As always, never mix bleach or ammonia with any other cleaning fluid. Always use pH-neutral cleaners. Acid-based cleaners may damage both tile and grout.

Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular tile or stone installation.

absorb 3% to 7% water. Suited for indoor use only

·           Vitreous Tiles – absorb 0.5% to 3% water. Suited for both interior and exterior use.  They are frost resistant.

·           Impervious Tiles – absorb between 0 and 0.5% of their weight in water. Suited for both interior and exterior use.  They are frost resistant.  They are also considered the strongest tile.


SHADING AND SIZING:

Shading:

· Many tiles, both glazed and unglazed, are deliberately produced with a wide shade variation to capture the natural beauty of the product.

·   A certain degree of shade variation is inherent in all ceramic tile.

·   The manufacturers limit the amount of shade variation within a carton by sorting the tile as it comes off the production line.  Also, the shade and run numbers are marked on each carton.

·   To minimize any noticeable shade variations, the installers work out of several cartons simultaneously.  In doing so, they are able to blend the tiles together.

Sizing:

·        The sizes of the tiles will vary slightly. This is inherent with most tiles.

·        Most manufacturers will keep sizing to an acceptable level by sorting the tile by size prior to packing it.

·        The grout joints will conceal slight size variations.

NOTE: If either the sizing or shading is too apparent, the installer should not set the tile.

Normal vs. Actual Sizing:

            Although most tile is advertised and sold by nominal sizes such as 8”x 8” or 12”x 12” the actual sizes will be more like 7 7/8” x 7 7/8” or 11 7/8” x 11 7/8”.


SUITABLE AND UNSUITABLE SUBSTRATES

FLOORS

Suitable Subfloors: All subfloors that are structurally sound and free of excessive movement are suitable for tiling over. They include:

·        Concrete

·        Terrazzo or natural stone

·        Ceramic tile

·        Non cushioned vinyl and linoleum

·        Cement back boards

·        Double layered plywood (exterior grade)

Unsuitable Subfloors: These are not suitable because they tend to flex, expand and contract or warp. Any excessive movement will loosen the tile and pop the grout. These subfloors must be replaced or covered with a suitable underlayment.

·        Cushioned vinyl

·        Perimeter installed vinyl

·        Single layered plywood

·        Flake board

·        Particle board

·        Chip board

·        Stripped wood

·        Luan plywood

WALLS

Suitable Substrates

·        Concrete or masonry

·        Drywall (dry areas only)

·        Plaster

·        Cement backer boards

·        Plywood (dry areas only)

·        Ceramic tile

Unsuitable Substrates

·        Paneling

·        Wallpaper

·        Masonite

SELECTING THE RIGHT INSTALLATION METHOD

Important: This is without a doubt, the most important statement! “Poorly prepared substrates and the use of improper setting materials are the cause of practically all major installation failures. Certain types of substrates and job conditions require ‘special treatment.’ These treatments are neither expensive, time consuming or complicated. To ignore or deviate from them would be the equivalent of play Russian roulette.”

Here is a description of installation materials:

·        Thin-set mortar – is a mixture of Portland cement and sand used to adhere the tile to the substrate.

·        Latex Portland cement mortar* – is the same as the thin-set mortar except that a special latex or acrylic is added. The latex gives the mortar flexibility and additional bonding strength. The flexibility is required when going over substrates that may experience minor movement. The additional adhesion strength is needed when setting tile over hard-to-bond surfaces

·        Mastic – is a pre-mixed adhesive paste similar to a vinyl adhesive.

·        Membranes – are used to separate the tile and mortar from the substrate. They are made to resist tile damage caused by minor substrate cracks, minor movement and water damage to the substrates.

·        Cement Backer Boards – are lightweight concrete sheets that are used to cover wood subfloors. They are also used as underlayment for “wet” areas such as shower walls and tub enclosures. 

*Caution: Not all latex and acrylic additives are designed to do the same job. For example, some are not recommended over wood. Some are for interior use only. Some are not suited for going over cut-back adhesive, etc. The best way to handle this is to have your supplier develop a cross reference list that matches the proper setting materials with the job conditions.

The beauty of tile lies on more than just the surface. Tile is a timelessly popular surfacing choice thanks to its

durability and cleanability. Whether used on floors, walls or countertops, tile needs minimal maintenance to keep it

looking great for years. The steps below will keep your tile installation looking like new.

Floors

Simple daily cleaning is all it takes to keep tiled floors in their prime. Here are some quick ways to care for tile

floors:

• Sweep, vacuum or dust-mop floors regularly to remove gritty particles.

• Gently remove any stuck-on debris with a putty knife or nylon scouring pad.

• Damp-mop with routine cleaners.

• Allow to dry, or if the tile’s finish is highly polished, wipe dry to avoid water spots.

Important tips for maintaining tile floors:

• Never use abrasive cleaners. Like tracked-in dirt, they may dull a shiny finish. If not using a professionally

suggested product, carefully check the product labels to make sure they do not contain abrasives that may

discolor grout.

• Avoid acidic cleaners, as they may harm grout with prolonged exposure.

• Heavily soiled or neglected floors may require the use of a wide selection of products, depending on the

problem.

• Place a mat outside each door and a rug just inside to collect dirt before it gets onto the floor.

• It is recommended to seal light-colored grouts to reduce ongoing maintenance and porosity.

Walls

Tile walls are typically installed in bathrooms and kitchens, where we often use abrasive household cleaners. A

basic rule of thumb is to always avoid abrasive cleaners when maintaining tiled walls. Abrasive cleaners may dull a

glossy tile’s finish, creating a rough surface that will actually attract soap scum and grime.

Important tips for maintaining tile walls:

• In the bathroom, clean the wall surface with a sponge and a non-abrasive routine cleaner.

• In the kitchen, a regular and thorough wiping with a routine cleaner  will keep tile

backsplashes and walls spotless.

Countertops

Tile’s durable beauty makes it an excellent surface choice for countertops and will survive years of use with style.

As with other surfaces, simply avoid abrasive cleansers and clean up spills immediately. To remove a dried spill,

use a sponge, hot water and a routine or stain specific cleaner. Most stains can be removed with a nylon-bristle

brush or nylon-scouring pad. Also, as food may come in contact with your countertop, make sure the cleaner you

use does not leave a harmful residue.

Notes:  As always, never mix bleach or ammonia with any other cleaning fluid. Always use pH-neutral cleaners. Acid-based cleaners may damage both tile and grout.

Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular tile or stone installation.