PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE - FAQ
- What is the difference between standard “ceramic” tiles and porcelain tiles?
- Tile terminology can be confusing. Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”. These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.
“Ceramic” or non-porcelain tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the colour and pattern. These tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications, are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating. Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant and they are more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles.
Porcelain tile is a tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic.
Full body porcelain tiles carry the colour and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications.
Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.
- What is the difference between glazed and full-body tiles?
- Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colours and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Full-body porcelain tiles do not show wear because their colour extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for heavy traffic applications.
- What is a PEI rating for porcelain and ceramic tile?
- Durability and Hardness Rating. The current rating system for ceramic tile in place today is really the only reliable gauge for consumers to use in determining wear expectations for a particular tile choice. The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has developed a rating scale that can effectively guide a consumer through the arduous process of choosing the right tile for lets say a family room or busy kitchen area. This rating system is recommended by the American Society Testing Materials (ASTM).
The PEI Ratings and wear descriptions are listed below:
· PEI Class 1 Rating (No foot traffic) - Recommended for wall use in residential and commercial applications only.
· PEI Class 2 Rating (Light traffic) - Recommended for both wall use and bathroom floor applications only.
· PEI Class 3 Rating (Light to moderate traffic) - Recommended for countertops, walls and floors where normal foot traffic is expected.
· PEI Class 4 Rating (Moderate to heavy traffic) - Recommended for all residential applications as well as medium commercial and light institutional.
· PEI Class 5 Rating (Heavy to extra heavy traffic) - Recommended for all residential as well as heavy commercial and institutional applications.
- How to Choose the Right Grout?
- There are three basic types of grout available for tile installation.
Unsanded, Sanded, Epoxy.
Sanded Grout is commonly recommended for floor tile since the addition of sand strengthens the grout, and Unsanded Grout is recommended for wall tile. However, the major factor in grout selection is in fact grout width. Unsanded Grout is recomended for grout lines smaller than 1/8" (3mm) wide, while Sanded Grout is recomended for grout lines 1/8″ and wider.
Epoxy Grout is more sturdy than either Sanded or Unsanded Grout as well as being waterproof and stain resistant. Joint width for Expoxy Grout should be between 1/16" and 3/8" (1.5 and 10mm).
Choosing the right grout colour will have a huge impact on the appearance of the tiled area since grout colour is a part of the overall appearance. When choosing a grout colour, it is helpful to look at the grout colour sample on all four corners of the tile, preferably in the space where the tile will be installed. It is also helpful to place several different colours near the sample you are considering. This can easily help rule out some colours while making some colours a clearer choice.
When choosing a grout colour, there are several different approaches you can take.
Blend – Choosing a grout colour that compliments or almost matches the tile will make the floor look more even and uniform overall.
Contrast – Contrasting grout is sometimes a desired look, but will make the tiled area appear more checkerboard.
When using a multicoloured mosaic tile, a contrasting grout can serve as a neutral background.
- What Is Rectified Tile?
- Rectified tile is tile that has been mechanically finished on all sides to achieve uniformity and precision. During the manufacturing process, an extra step is taken to grind the tile to precise and consistent dimensions. The most sought after feature of rectified tile is that the uniform size allows for tile to be installed with narrow grout joints. The narrow grout joints create a seamless, continuous look that is desired by designers. It is recommended by the industry that grout joints for rectified tile must be at least 1/8” wide.
Non-rectified tiles are quite different than rectified tiles. Non-rectified tiles vary slightly in size from each production run. There is no extra step to ensure precision amongst size as there is for rectified tile. Due to the size variations, wider grout joints are needed to align the tile during installation.
- Types of Natural Stone
"Natural Stone" refers to a number of products quarried from the earth, used over many thousands of years as building materials and decorative enhancements. These products include Marble, Granite, Limestone, Travertine, Slate, Quartzite, Sandstone, Adoquin, Onyx, and others.
They are more than just rocks – natural stone is hand selected from the best, most consistent sources for durability and beauty. Natural stone products differ in composition, color, and texture even among pieces from the same source. This is usually considered a benefit, lending itself to one of a kind designs and distinctive, dramatic applications.
Marbles : The large group of the marbles contains both metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, all of which are composed of calciferous particles (calcite).
Marble is a relatively homogenous and compact natural stone. Because it is relatively easy to work, but also because of its wide variety of different colours (red, white, pink, etc.), it has found many applications in the building industry: floors, staircases, fireplaces, etc.
Limestone ; is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock. Limestone is composed primarily of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or aragonite. Trace amounts of dolomite, iron oxide, quartz, clay, or organic particles can also be present. Due to these impurities, limestone can vary in color from a cream to yellow to pink to brown to celadon, mustard, and dark gray. Limestone is formed from compressed and cemented seashells and marine animal skeletons (reefs) or reprecipitation (stalactites, stalagmites). It is softer and more easily worked than marble.
Travertine ; is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties.
Slate ; is a hard, dense, and fine-grained low-grade metamorphic rock that splits into thin slabs along planar surfaces. This splitting, known as slaty cleavage, results from recrystallization under pressure and commonly develops at an angle to the bedding planes. Slates are formed from clays, shales, volcanic ash, and other fine-grained rocks. Minerals present are quartz, sericite, chlorite, some graphite, titanium oxide, and iron oxides.
- Do we need to seal?
The answer is that all stone and tile products --even some porcelain tiles-- benefits from sealing. There is a broad range of elements that can penetrate or hold to the surface, including grout, dyes, polyester resins, epoxy resins, oil, water, etc.
Many products on the market have been designed to beautify and "protect" the surfaces of stone, tile and grout, including sealers, finishes, color enhancers and waxes. As the name implies, sealers actually seal the surface tight against chemicals, water and other contaminants. Normally, a finish is placed on top of a sealer. Sealers typically are not vapor permeable and can be semi-permanent and hard to repair.
Many tiles - especially natural stone such as slate, marble and limestone - are porous and need to be sealed.
Natural stone tile must be sealed before grout is applied. If you don't, the colorant in the grout will be absorbed into the tile, ruining the finish. If that happens, it's impossible to get the grout out of the pores of the tile.
So, you can't let your contractor tile, grout, then seal the whole thing. it would be a huge mistake.
- What determines the price of a tile?
- There are many different factors that effect the price of a tile which can include: Material, Country of Origin (shipping, cost of labor), Colour (darker or pure white colours can be more expensive), technology (finishes, textures), etc.
- How long will tile last?
- As long as you don’t chip at the tile with any heavy or sharp objects, tile should last for the life of the home. After all, it’s made of finely ground stone.
Just basic maintenance and avoiding dropping heavy objects should definitely keep your tile lasting and looking great for many years to come.
|EFES TILE INC.|
|1100 South Service Road Unit:115|
|Stoney Creek, ON, L8E 0C5|
|tel : 905 643 52 77|
|HOURS OF OPERATION|