Tiles offer many benefits in comparison to other flooring options. One particular advantage is that they are easy to clean, no more professional cleaning is needed plus you don’t have to worry about permanent stains.

Ceramic tiles can also be used for both floor and walls, but what’s important to note is that the two may not always be used interchangeably as floor tiles are designed to have a higher abrasion resistance.Tiles are durable and have a longer life span than other floors such as carpets, they can also be used indoors and outdoors, as well as in design features in the home, for example, on walls in the bathroom, kitchen or any other area that may need a facelift.

Before embarking on selecting tiles, it helps to know what the various tile types are and what areas they are better suited to.

1. Ceramic tiles

These tiles are available in a wide variety of colours, patterns and sizes. Additionally, they complement almost any furnishings and décor; they also have a long service life and are both scratch and fade resistant.

Ceramic tiles can also be used for both floor and wall tiles, but what’s important to note is that the two may not always be used interchangeably as floor tiles are designed to have a higher abrasion resistance. Debra says homeowners should consider ceramic tiles for their lounges, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

2. Porcelain flooring

Natural tiles work well outdoors due to their durability and resistance to rain and sun, provided they’re sealed to prevent staining.

Porcelain tiles are manufactured from ceramic material, however, these tiles are fired at higher temperatures than ceramic. Porcelain is available glazed or unglazed, the latter may also be referred to as full bodied tiles. They are resistant to moisture, deep abrasion and frost, and can be used for outside areas if not polished, as moisture will make them slippery.

Porcelain tiles are suited to areas that have high traffic such as the kitchen and also work well in the bathroom.

Debra says porcelain and ceramic tiles replicate the beautiful patterns of natural stone and are easier to install than natural stone tiles. She says the latest porcelain tiles also imitate wooden planks and can be used inside and outdoors.

3. Natural stone tiles

These include slate, sandstone, granite and natural marble such as travertine. They are all different in appearance but are a once in a lifetime purchase as their colour doesn’t fade. An important consideration is that these tiles need to be sealed to prevent staining.

Mosaics are tiny tiles which come in a variety of materials including glass, metal and natural stone. They create décor magic and are a great way of bringing colour and texture to any wall in your home.

According to Debra, stone tiles have striking variations of both pattern and colour, and may be a little more complex to install than ceramic and porcelain options. “We recommend installation by a professional as they will also be able to seal the tiles.”

Natural tiles work well outdoors due to their durability and resistance to rain and sun, provided they’re sealed to prevent staining.

4. Mosaics for décor

Mosaics are tiny tiles which come in a variety of materials including glass, metal and natural stone. They create décor magic and are a great way of bringing colour and texture to any wall in your home.

Glass mosaics have the added benefit of being readily available, they’re also easy to clean and give instant colour and vitality to walls. Debra says these tiny tiles also have the ability of withstanding hot and cold temperatures, which makes them ideal for areas where extreme temperatures may be present such as the bathroom and kitchen. She says one important factor to remember when choosing natural stone mosaics, is that they need to be sealed to prevent staining.

5. Inkjet tiles

“Consumers are seeking out flooring solutions that are going to offer them value in the longest term, understanding that cheaper alternatives will not last as long, and will not wear as well. Inkjet tiles offer customers on-trend finishes that they desire without having to pay too much to get the look they’re after.”

Check that the surface you are tiling is level, this is important as uneven surfaces need to be filled and levelled with a screed.

These beautiful tiles provide a great substitute for homeowners who want to embark on home improvement projects and prefer the natural look, but may not have the budget for natural stone or solid wood flooring.

Inkjet printing technology allows for high definition printing on uneven surfaces such as ceramic and porcelain tiles. This has led to the development of tiles that look exactly like wood and natural stone but at a fraction of the price.

Select a tile to suit your needs

Another added benefit of tiles is that their abrasion resistance is tested. This is done by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) which has five ratings. Debra says this rating is international and measures the degree to which a tile’s surface will withstand wear. Generally, she says all tiles are suited for domestic application provided the PEI is correct.

For use in domestic environments look at tiles with a PEI rating of one, two and three. PEI 1 can also be extended to bathrooms and bedrooms, and is suited to areas where soft, elastic, non-abrasive footwear is worn. This rating is not suited to adjacent outdoor areas because grit can be brought in. Tiles used outdoors need to be abrasion resistant and require a PEI rating of three or higher.

The PEI 2 rating is also suited for residential areas where a small amount of abrasive material can be brought in from outside such as the kitchen. PEI 3 can be used in both interior and exterior areas ranging from the entrance hall and kitchen to the patio. The PEI 3 rating may also be extended to areas that experience light commercial traffic.

Debra says keep in mind that the majority of tiles are suited for almost all applications and areas in the home, as long as the PEI rating is correct.

Good-to-know tile tips

Here are some other useful tips to help facilitate the tile buying process.

  • It’s a good idea to buy a few more tiles than is required for the area you are tiling, this is to accommodate for potential breakages.
  • Check that the surface you are tiling is level, this is important as uneven surfaces need to be filled and levelled with a screed.
  • Make sure that a quality adhesive is used.
  • Ensure that the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of the application of the adhesive and grout.
  • Remember to take into consideration lead times of tiles that need to be ordered or customised. This is especially important when buying tiles that need to be imported or selecting to use new technology such as water jet cutting, which allows one to create designs on the surface of tiles

Tiling Gallery

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Tiling - Maintenance

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Tiles give a unique element of class and style that you can’t get with any other kind of flooring. It really helps make your home all the more attractive which is why getting tile flooring has become very popular over recent years.

But having tile flooring can sometimes have its challenges too, and one example is keeping it clean and in good condition. Many homeowners think that tiles are more resistant to everyday wear and tear which is why they don’t exactly clean it as often as they should.

This can be really bad as it can result in poorly maintained tiles that will do exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to do.

Imagine you walk on a perfectly shiny floor, feels good right? It gives a good view and very relaxing to your eyes, just exactly what you need after a long tiring day at work.

Now, imagine again yourself walking on some brown, grout nasty floor. It normally would increase your headache and surely nobody wants a bad headache and a dirty floor to walk on.

We always want to see a refreshing clean floor but cleaning them by hand is hard work. It’s messy and uncomfortable. Due to infrequent cleaning and incorrect tile cleaning techniques and chemicals stains and dirt may build up on tiles. It is almost impossible to get the deep- clean results over time, tile floors and surfaces lose their shine and luster.

When it is regularly maintained, tile floor can last decades or sometimes even centuries.

Many people believe that cleaning grout is difficult, when in reality it isn’t as long as it doesn’t build up. Cleaning a tile floor might seem a bit daunting at first!

Never fear- I will be giving you some tips and couple of strategies on how you should clean your tile floor:

Tip 1

Make sure dirt and spills do not have a chance to get comfortable.

That is the most important aspect of cleaning your tile floor. Avoid spending hours on your hands and knees scrubbing away stains and dirt. Rather than forbidding everyone but yourself from walking on the floor, wipe up spills as soon as they happen.

This is easy enough to do with a mop or cloth, hot water, and a mild household detergent to get rid of the dirt on tile floors.

Tip 2

Sweep dust and leaves, then damp mop once a week.

Most tile floors don’t need to be cleaned with harsh chemicals. A damp mop in hot water is all it takes to get your floors really clean. Be sure to clean the dirty mop water and refill your bucket often while mopping.

The only time you need to use an actual cleanser is for built-up grime, pet accidents, dropped raw meat, or other heavy bacteria spills.

Tip 3

Regular Maintenance

This is the easiest, quickest and most effective step you can take. This includes regularly sweeping, vacuuming and damp mop cleaning to the various tiled areas of your property.
A quick sweeping removes dirt and debris before it becomes rooted in the tile or grout. Mopping with warm water also enhances your tile’s gloss, shine and color.
Water is effective in keeping the tile floor looking great and it is the best floor cleaning products not to mention it is everywhere and readily available at home.

Tip 4

Vinegar and baking soda are effective cleaners.

If you have children or pets, you may not want to use harsh chemicals, and this is a superb alternative.

These two household products combine to create one fantastic grime-fighting duo.

  • Make a paste out of the baking soda by adding a little vinegar.
  • Scrub the grout with the paste and handy-dandy toothbrush
  • Simply wipe away the residue.

Yes, it can be a bit time-consuming, but the results of clean grout are far worth the effort. In addition to that, if baking soda is too much for you.

A simple bottle of vinegar only puts those notorious “cleaning miracle” infomercials to shame.

  • Either apply it to the grout by itself or dilute it with water.
  • Pour the vinegar along the edges of the tile
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes before using a toothbrush in a circular motion.
  • And if you need an added cleaning punch. Try also mixing a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water for a wonderfully effective, odor-eliminating cleanser.

Tile cleaning and maintenance may be tough to do but it plays a big part in preserving the beauty and condition of your tiles. Make sure that you spend the right amount of time and effort in cleaning your tiles so that you won’t have any problems in maintaining its beauty and quality for a long time…

If after doing all the cleaning steps above , there are still remaining stains or marks on your tiles and you are considering re-tiling. Stop and call us rather as we have a whole bag of tricks and tools to strip , clean and seal your tiles , so they look better than when they were new.