What can I use to clean my tiles?

This is dependent on the tile and stain type, due to the vast majority of products available it is best to speak to a consultant. A general rule of thumb one can follow is: an oily stain uses a soapy cleaner whilst a cement stain uses an acid based cleaner.

What is the difference between a ceramic tile and a porcelain tile?

The characteristics of tiles are determined by the 1.) Water Absorption of the tile 2.)  The Temperature at which the product is fired and 3.) The Raw Materials used to make the tile.

By European Standards:

Ceramic Tile Water Absorption                  < 1 – 20%

True Porcelain Tile Water Absorption      > 0.5 %

In general, the lowest values of water absorption correspond to a better performing tile with regards to mechanical resistance; hardness; resistance to abrasion; resistance to chemicals and frost resistance.

It is important to note that Ceramic tiles are not bad tiles, but rather can be incorrectly used and therefore result in bad choices.

What size spacing/grouting can I use?

The grout spacing is determined by the tile used.

Clay extruded tiles require larger grout spaces – 5 to 8 mm

For example: Terra Cotta; Red Body Ceramics

Powder pressed tiles can uses smaller grout spaces –  3 to 4 mm

For example: White Body Ceramics; Porcelain

Rectified tiles can use even smaller grout spaces – 2 to 3mm

What are rectified tiles?

“Rectified” is a term used to describe a fired powder pressed tile that has been put through an additional production stage wherein the tile is mechanically trimmed on all sides to an exact size.

The benefits of a rectified tile are as follows:

Precise 90° angle square

A smooth, straight edge

Minimal grout spaces – 2mm

Do you have to seal grout?

Sealing grout is not necessary but advisable if you would like to maintain the grouts original colour, especially with the lighter grout colours. Over time, the grout can discolour due to traffic over the tiles and washing the floors with water that is not constantly changed.

What is the best way to maintain tiles?

The quality and the value of a tiled surface is directly related to the surface on which it is laid. It is important to have a level, clean surface and use the correct adhesives, bonding liquids, grout spacers etc.

After tiles have been laid the tiles must be purged, the grout residue must be removed with grout off acid, and then cleaned with an alkaline cleaner, to remove the grout off, for example TFC Easy Clean.

All exposed edges of tiles should be protected with trims.

What is the difference between a glazed and polished tile?

A glazed tile refers to a tile, porcelain or ceramic, that has a layer or glaze on top of the body which is then fired.

The glaze determines the PEI factor of the tile.

A glazed tile does not absorb water through its surface.

A polished tile is a porcelain tile that has a rough surface, which when polished by a mechanical process creates a shiny surface.

The polished tile can be re-polished, much like its natural stone counterparts, to bring life back to the tile, after many years of use.

The MOS scale determines the strength of a polished tile.

A polished tile can absorb water through its surface.

Can a wall tile be used on the floor?

This is not recommended. Wall tiles have a weaker glaze and body and using them in the incorrect application will cause them to wear prematurely. The wall tile is also not as resistant to stress and impact which will result in chips and cracks occurring.

A floor tile can however be used in a wall application.