Below is a list of commonly asked tiling questions and simple tips for both indoor and outdoor tiles. We provide insight to a variety of different types in tiles including, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, mosaic tiles and much more.
If you are unable to find the answer you are looking for simply call us on 1300 265 678.
What are ceramic tiles?
Key benefits of ceramic tiles include:
- They are used in both wall and floor applications.
- They are great for walls in any area of the home as they are cost effective whilst still giving a superior look.
- They are softer and easier to cut than porcelain which makes the installation cost more affordable.
- They usually carry a PEI ratings 1 to 5. (See tile tile ratings for more info).
- They are suitable for light to moderate traffic.
What are porcelain tiles?
Porcelain tiles can either be glazed (with a gloss, matte or textured finish) or unglazed (with a natural, polished or textured finish).
To provide our customers with the best choice, ColorTile can offer all finishes for each range.
Typically large format porcelain tiles are rectified which means that the tiles are cut after manufacture to ensure that that they are square. This allows for the tiles to be laid with a minimal grout line of 1.5mm as per Australian standards.
As a result of manufacturers around the world embracing continuous improvements and progressive development in technologies used for unglazed porcelain, ColorTile also offers full-bodied porcelain, double-loaded porcelain and soluble salts.
What is full-bodied porcelain?
What is double-loaded (charged) porcelain?
What are soluble salts?
Key benefits of porcelain tiles include:
- They absorb 0.5% water or less which makes them suitable for humid areas like bathrooms, terraces or kitchens.
- Both glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles are extremely durable making them suitable for any application, from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic.
- Full-bodied and double-loaded porcelain tiles carry the colour and pattern into the tile, making it far more durable. It is suitable for any application ranging from residential to high-traffic commercial and industrial conditions.
What are mosaic tiles?
Commonly sold pre-mounted on mesh or paper sheets around 300x300mm in size, these sheets can be cut down to generate a pattern when mixed with other tiles. For example a 300x300mm sheet of 50x50mm mosaics could but cut down into narrower strips and joined together end to end to create a feature in a shower wall.
Key benefits of mosaic tiles include:
- Mosaics are used generally as feature tiles to enhance a room.
- They can be used as splashback tiles in kitchens and bathrooms.
- They are bright and can add character without being over-powering.
- They can be a bold and dynamic statement reflecting the home owner’s personality.
- ColorTile mosaics are made from the highest quality products from around the globe.
What is natural stone?
Key benefits of natural stone include:
- Natural stone has been a primary construction material since man first lived in a cave and painted on its stone walls.
- Whil natural stone must be maintained to ensure that it continues to look as beautiful in the future as the day it was installed, it is possible to have stone floors resurfaced in years to come.
- Natural stone gives any interior an element of style and refinement. The polished finish adds formality to a space while a honed finish provides a more organic look.
What is engineered stone?
Key benefits of engineered stone include:
- This product can give the appearance of a “stone-like” surface, but it does not possess the characteristics of a natural stone.
- It is a cheaper alternative to natural stone.
What are border tiles?
Key benefits of border tiles include:
- Border tiles are a cost effective way of adding a feature to a tiled area such as a kitchen splashback or shower recess.
- Border tiles can be used as a capping tile when only tiling part way up a wall.
What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?
Porcelain tiles are generally not glazed over and colour runs right through them to be polished, honed or produced in a natural finish. Ceramic tiles on the other hand are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the colour and pattern.
As porcelain tiles do not have this protective glaze, most of these tiles require special maintenance.
Porcelain tiles can be used in almost any internal and external application and are available in many finishes and sizes in the same series and colour formats. A high percentage of new home buyers and renovators will choose a porcelain tile due to its strength and beauty.
Ceramic tiles are low maintenance, are available in an endless colour range and are produced at a low cost. They are more suitable for use in domestic areas although chips may be noticeable due to the interior of the tile being coloured differently.
A hybrid option is to have a glazed porcelain tile which is popular for time-conscious builders and home owners. If you are a Sydney or NSW resident looking for ceramic tiles, contact ColorTile for service and advice.
What is double loaded porcelain?
ColorTile has a good selection of double-loaded porcelain tiles which range in colour, size, design and price.
Do glossy tiles have to be porcelain?
“Gloss” refers to the type of glaze used. “Polished” refers to the mechanical polishing process which occurs after the tile is manufactured.
What is glaze?
Can glossy tiles be used on wet floor areas?
Below are some of the points to consider when deciding if a polished or gloss floor tile is suitable for your project:
- Does anyone in your home require care? Moving around and showering can be more difficult and dangerous on a reflective floor.
- How stable are you on your feet?
- Do you wear socks or stockings when getting yourself organised in the morning?
It is important to think about how you live and who will be living on the new floor, both now and into the future. This will help you make the right decision about the most appropriate tile finish for you.
What are economy grade tiles?
What are the most common shapes of tiles?
What are the most common ways to lay tiles?
- Brick pattern (not recommended for tile sizes larger than 300×600 due to the natural cupping and bowing of the tiles during firing)
- Stacked pattern
- Diamond pattern
- Herringbone pattern (not recommended for tile sizes larger than 300×600 due to the natural cupping and bowing of the tiles during firing)
For most tile patterns we suggest you order 10% more tiles than you think you might use due to the wastage generated by cuts and breakages. This extra order should be increased to 15% if laying a diamond pattern of tiles.
What is a rectified tile? Why do tilers charge more to lay these?
The reason why tilers charge more to lay a rectified tile is that typically they are laid at 1.5mm spacing (minimum allowed by Australian standards) to provide a beautiful finish. This is more difficult to lay than wider spacing as wider grout lines give more room for movement during installation. If the tiles are rectified and the grout line is 1.5mm then the tiler must ensure that the substrate is as level and perfect as possible. The thinner grout lines also mean that there is less room for error. This is time consuming work and so the installation cost reflects the extra time and care required for the job.
What is a vitrified tile?
What is a non-vitrified tile?
Why do tiles from the same batch vary in size?
What is the difference between indoor and outdoor tiles?
ColorTile has a wide selection of tiles designed specifically for indoor and outdoor use.
What is absorption and how does it relate to purchasing tiles?
What is a nano finish?
Key benefits of sealed tiles include:
- It increases water and dirt resistance
- The lifespan of a nano sealant lasts between 6-10 years.
- The sealant is anti-bacterial
- The anti-sticking technology prevents dirt from adhering to the surface and so the tile is easy to clean and stain free.
- Tile surfaces are no longer prone to mouldy growth.
- Sealed tiles are ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and any other wet area in the home.