Before you start installing tiles on your floors or walls, you should have all the information you need to choose the floor or wall tiles that are best suited for you. This guide explains why you should use tile, what the difference is between porcelain and ceramic tile, what types of tile are available and what they are used for. There are also some maintenance tips.
Why use tiles
The tiles are used all over the world. They are made from natural raw materials and are free of toxic ingredients. The tiles are naturally resistant to dust and other impurities that can also cause health problems. Unlike other surfaces, tiles are both hard and waterproof, which means they are resistant to dust mites, bacteria, fungi, mold and other irritants. Tile also has advantages.
Design : Ceramic tile should become an essential part of your home. Modern designs and sizes will keep your home up to date with the latest trends. Careful selection will improve your home, protect it and increase its capital value.
What types of tiles are available ?
Tiles intended exclusively for walls should not be considered load-bearing. They are often lighter and thinner than floor tiles. The glazes used in the manufacture of wall tile are also different and are not designed to withstand the abrasive forces of foot traffic. Wall tile can only be used on walls. Floor tiles are suitable for both floors and walls. It is becoming increasingly popular to use them on bathroom walls, especially rectangular walls. They are up to 20% heavier than wall tiles. Therefore, it is important that your tiler verify that the walls are strong enough to support the weight.
Note : Do not lay wall tiles on the floor, but floor tiles can also be laid on the walls.
For ceramic tiles, there is a tile strength classification. Here, tiles are graded according to their wear on a scale of zero to five. Let’s take a closer look :
- PEI 0: Not suitable for floors and should actually only be used as wall tile.
- PEI 1: Only for floors of rooms where there is virtually no foot traffic and generally no footwear. Not suitable for bathrooms.
- PEI 2: Tiles suitable for daily traffic in residential areas good for your typical bathroom and most normal footwear. Not ideal for the kitchen or hallway.
- PEI 3: These tiles are suitable for all rooms in the house or apartment, including all bathrooms and kitchens and most hallways. They can withstand all reasonable traffic with shoes. However, if you regularly have a lot of people in the house, you may need a higher grade.
- PEI 4: These tiles can support heavy loads, although the styles are probably a little more limited.
- PEI 5: You don’t have to stand so high at home. These tiles are normally used in shopping malls, hospitals and other places and can withstand almost anything.
Porcelain or ceramic tiles ?
Ceramic tiles are made by firing red or white clay in a kiln and covering it with a durable glaze that carries the color and pattern. These tiles can be used on walls or floors. They are not as hard as porcelain and are therefore easier to cut. The tiles can be used in light to moderate traffic areas such as kitchen and bathroom floors and walls. They tend to absorb water, so they do not have the frost resistance of porcelain and are therefore not suitable for outdoor use.
Porcelain tiles are made from a finer, denser and more impermeable clay than ceramic. They are fired at higher temperatures, making them stronger, harder and more resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles. Porcelain tile generally has lower water absorption, which often makes it frost or water resistant. They are suitable for almost all domestic applications, both on walls and floors, and even in commercial environments where traffic is low. Any product description should specify whether the tile is ceramic or porcelain.
Ceramic tile is not suitable for exterior use, but porcelain and ceramic tiles are suitable for all domestic applications. What about non-slip tiles? In other words, no tile is guaranteed anti-slip. The anti-slip properties of a tile are defined by DIN 51130 and are designated in the evaluation groups R 9 to R 12. The higher the R rating, the better the slip resistance. Tiles with a certain R-value should not be used in a specific area, but the highest, especially R-11 and higher, are definitely recommended for bathrooms and public areas suitable for disabled people. Often an architect will give a minimum rating when detailing the specifications for a project.
Care Tip #1
The first step in maintaining a tile is to sweep it. This dry, old-fashioned method removes residue from the surface. You may need to invest in an electrostatic cleaning tool to remove any dirt.
Care Tip #2
Clear, clean water is often the only cleaning product you need for a tile. If you need a stronger detergent, use a neutral cleaner specially formulated for tiles.
Care Tip #3
Avoid regular use of aggressive detergents. Cleaners with a high alkaline or low acid ph value can lead to the destruction of the sealant. A sealant is important to prevent soap suds, oils and dirt from penetrating the tile and grout.
The tiles have anti-slip properties. The higher the R-rating, the better the grip. There is no 100% guarantee that a tile is anti-slip, but some tiles are much more suitable than others.