What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?

The key difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles is the degree of strength and durability. Where they are both made from the same clay, porcelain tiles incorporate other minerals to create a more hard-wearing product. They are also fired at a higher temperature during production, and are slightly more water resistant. However, ceramic tiles are still of high quality, and their durability can be improved when a high quality glaze is applied.

What is a ‘tile wear rating’?

Tile wear ratings determine the strength of the tile, with 1 being the weakest, and 5 the strongest. There are several environmental elements which must be taken into consideration upon selecting the appropriate tile, including; space, traffic and floor size. For example, tiles with a rating of 2 can be used in home bathrooms where traffic is limited, where tiles with a 5-point rating are required for commercial spaces and large scale buildings.

What is the difference between a wall and floor tile?

Wall tiles are lighter in weight, and softer in composition. This makes them easy to install without putting too much weight pressure on walls.

How do I know what tile is best for me?

At Ceramica Living, we recommend you come in store and seek the professional advice of our experienced team. However, there are a few questions that you can answer to determine what tile is likely best suited to your desired room:

How big is your room? For example, if you are designing a large space such as a kitchen or living room, we recommend exploring our range of larger floor tiles to complement the room’s size.

What is the space going to be used for? For example, an en suite would likely have minimal foot traffic, so it would be appropriate to opt for a tile with a rating of 1 or 2. However, a family bathroom that is being used more frequently may require tiles that can withstand more traffic, with a rating of 3 or 4.

What atmosphere are you trying to create? Tiles in a warm family room will likely differ from ones used in an entry or bathroom. Additionally, you may opt for a more basic style using our marble or travertine tiles, or perhaps you have an eye for abstract and unique designs. Either way, you will find the perfect tiles to complement any style at Ceramica Living.

If you are still unsure about what tiles to choose, or have any enquires about our other products, please do not hesitate to give us a call on … or drop into our showroom!

What is the difference between ‘glazed’ and ‘polished’ porcelain tiles?

Glazed porcelain tiles are made using a decorative, hard-wearing glaze over the porcelain base, which can be either matte or glaze. Polished porcelain tiles is simply the pure porcelain which has been polished.

Do my tiles have to be sealed?

Sealants are formulated to provide a protective layer on the treated tile surface. This layer prevents dirt from penetrating into the tile, making everyday maintenance easier. Note: sealants are best used indoors – the film produced as a result of treatment may trap moisture when outdoors.

Tile type largely determines the need for sealing. Polished porcelain tiles generally need to be sealed as to prevent any impurities from entering the micro pores when it comes time to grout, particularly when using a dark coloured grout. Note: standard porcelain and ceramic tiles generally do not require sealing. For clarification, please ask one of the friendly staff at Ceramica Living prior to tile installation.

Natural stone typically requires sealing, due to its absorbent and stain-prone characteristics. In order to maintain protection, re-sealing should be performed every two to three years, or even once annually for heavily-used stone surfaces. You can check your surface’s seal quality by placing a few drops of water on the grout lines – if the drops hold their shape, the current sealer is adequate. If the drops rapidly absorb, it is time to re-seal!

The quality of your ongoing maintenance will greatly affect the durability of the sealant, and the look of the natural stone will not be compromised if a high quality sealant and cleaner is used. Note: natural stone used indoors will require sealing after installation, and prior to grouting.

What tiles should I use in my bathroom?

Gloss tiles are reflective, with angles of light effectively making a small room appear bigger. However, they can be slippery when wet, making them better suited for walls. Matte tiles are extremely popular for bathroom floor tiles, especially in spaces with greater surface area. Note: rougher tiles provide greater grip, so you may like to opt for a texturized style.

Disclaimer: These posts contain general tiling information only. If you need advice based on your particular circumstances you can contact us directly via phone or email.

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