When most of us hear of tiles, we do think floors but tiles are not just for floors. Tiles are pieces of hard material made from glass, ceramics, stone or even glass used for covering and decorating floors, walls, ceilings and table tops. They are of different designs; squares, rectangles, circles, triangles all according to a person’s taste.
You can even get tile that is made from lighter materials like perlite, cork, and wood. Because of their lightweight nature, they are used for ceilings and walls. Tile can be arranged into pleasing patterns or even murals!
I know what you are thinking, ”stone can really make tiles?” The answer is yes. The types of stones most often used to make tiles are like onyx, granite and slate. But today, let’s focus on floor tiling. Floor tiles are commonly made of ceramic, stone, rubber and glass. With floor tiling, the tiles are set in place and a mixture of sand and cement is used to hold them together.
Tiling is a labor intensive task and fairly permanent. It is something that one should sit and think on before doing [what material should I use, what design]. Tiling is all part of design and thus one needs to choose tiles that match the space that is being tiled. Below are factors to consider before choosing the type of tiling to use:
- Hardness. – The porcelain enamel institute provides ratings for a material’s ability to withstand footwork. These ratings are based on laboratory tests. After rating them they then place them in classes. First class – cannot be used for the floor. Second class – can be used in areas where there will be no scratching dirt like a bedroom or can be used for interior decoration. Third class – can be used in areas with moderate footwork and a little scratching. All rooms in a house are appropriate except the house entryways and the kitchen. They can also be used for kitchen countertops. Forth class – this can withstand heavy footwork. They can be used even in entry ways and kitchens. Fifth class – These are appropriate for commercial spaces or areas with extra heavy footwork.
- Porosity of the tiles. – Porosity is the amount of water a tile can absorb. It is calculated by the ratio of air holes to solids in a tile. Classifications of tiles by porosity: Impervious – 0.5 % or less absorption. Best used for bathrooms and kitchens and laundry rooms. Vitreous – 0.5 -3 % absorption. Semi-vitreous – 3-7% absorption. Non-vitreous – 7% and more absorption. Recommended for floor use.
- Slip resistance. – Most tiles are slippery and thus can lead to accidents, especially if in areas prone to getting wet. As scientists would say, use tiles with a higher coefficient of friction. What I mean is use tiles that are less slippery. It is also recommended to use tiles of smaller sizes. This gives you more gripping power. Rather than those of large sizes, as they reduce the possibility of slipping. Different materials have different COF [coefficient of friction]. Slate – its texture is naturally slip resistant. Some of us have an eye for hardwood. Well, here is a secret, if you like how hard wood looks on the floor but don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost I suggest you use wood ceramic tile. It is highly durable and resistant to scratch and moisture. For that luxurious and quality look, I suggest you go for stone tile. When I talk of stone tile, I am talking of granite, marble and travertine. And for that room that looks small, why don’t you go for light color tiles. They will make your room look larger. They also make your room look bright and alive. But if you playing it safe and going for something simple yet classy and durable, concrete tile is what you should be looking into. Have fun remodeling or doing your floors. Make that house a palace. With all these choices you are bound to find the solution that is perfect for you.