Generally speaking, porcelain tends to be a thicker, more durable, less porous tile. Porcelain can be used on both walls and floors.
On the other hand, Ceramic tends to be thinner and slightly more porous (still perfectly fine for wet areas). Ceramic is only suitable for walls in most cases and is not recommended for steam-room showers due to the extremely high moisture in steam-room installations.
Many people assume the word “glazed” means glossy. However, in the tile industry, the term refers to the coat of enamel or liquid glass that is applied to almost all ceramic and porcelain tiles. The glaze is a substance rather than a description, and the glaze can be a matt or glossy finish.
A tile that has been “rectified” has had all its edges mechanically finished to achieve a more precise facial dimension. The process involves cutting or grinding a tile to a specific size.
A tile with rectified edges allows you to achieve a 1/16 inch grout joint in installations where the subfloor is suitable. (Who doesn’t like less grout?!)
There are lots of different reasons some tiles cost more than others. Some factors that often contribute to a tile that costs more are:
– Where the tile is manufactured
– Thickness of the tile
– Tile finish
– Whether the tile is glazed of through-body
– Whether the tile is pressed or rectified
A smooth, glossy (Polished) surface tends to be more slippy than a matt surface, particularly wet. Therefore, it’s usually not good to use glossy tile for flooring – particularly for bathroom or wet-room flooring or in high traffic areas such as entrance halls.
The exception to this rule is when a tile passes the DCOF slip resistance test. The factory runs this test to measure how slip-resistant a tile is when wet.
The short answer is; maintenance!
Natural stone is very porous and requires regular sealing to prevent discoloration. On the other hand, porcelain and ceramic do not require regular upkeep. The only thing you should have to worry about getting/staying dirty in a porcelain or ceramic installation is the grout.
Generally, you have to keep the shower floor tile around 4″X4″ or smaller unless you are doing a linear drain. (Most manufacturers make 2″X2″ tiles for the shower floor)
The reasoning behind using the smaller tiles is to allow the shower base to be pitched to the drain. Larger format tiles require exact cutting and expertise to be used on a shower floor, whereas smaller mosaics bend with the pitch of the shower base much more quickly.
There are stickers all over the showroom floor that say "maximum 33% overlap." What does that mean?"
Any tile in our showroom with an edge more significant than 15 inches has one of those stickers on it. That is because any tile with an edge more significant than 15 inches has a slight bow due to the manufacturing process.
Because of the slight bow, if you stagger the tiles at a 50% overlap, you’ll be setting the highest part of the tile, the middle, next to the lowest part of the adjacent tile, the ends. You’ll end up with significant lippage at best and a basketweave appearance at worst.
Through body porcelain (sometimes referred to as unglazed porcelain), tiles are produced using colored raw materials that permeate the entire tile, incorporating uninterrupted color and pattern features seen on the surface through the tile body.
We recommend picking out the countertop first, as that tends to be the kitchen’s focal point. Once you have a countertop that you love, it makes it easier for us to recommend options that will help tie your kitchen together.
That being said, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Generally, most of our European made wall tiles are not available with a bullnose trim because most European countries do not use bullnose. Instead, they opt to use a much thinner “quarter- round” trim piece OR a Schluter trim piece.
Bullnose is a tile with a finished edge. Typically you would get the bullnose that corresponds with the tile you are getting.
If there is no corresponding bullnose, there is sometimes a quarter-round tile that corresponds. Quarter-rounds have the same effect as bullnose but a much slimmer profile.
If neither the bullnose or quarter-round are available for your tile, a great alternative would be a Schluter trim. Schluter profiles come in various shapes and colors and are always a great option and provide the added benefit of protecting the edge of the tile.
Yes! You do need grout!
Grout is used as a filler for the joints between tiles once the tile you are installing has been set. It helps keep dirt and debris from getting in between and under your tile. It adds rigidity and strength to the tile installation.
Please check out this video from our grout manufacturer on how to mix grout!
It all depends on the tile.
We have some wall tiles that are self-spacing and don’t require you to manually space out the tiles. You simply abut the tiles against each other and the way the tile is cut will leave the perfect grout joint.
For pressed tiles, generally you should have at least a 1/8″ grout joint between tiles to make up for any size imperfections in the tiles.
For rectified tiles, you can usually get a 1/16″ grout joint assuming the sbustrate is suitable for grout that small. If there are imperfections in the subfloor, you may be better suited to increase the size of the grout joint.
Ultimately, it all depends on the quality of the substrate and what kind of tile you have. Your installer should be consulted with in order to come to any conclusions about installation.
In high traffic areas or frequently used showers, we recommend at least once per year. Depending on the installation (especially in showers/ shower floors) sometimes every 6 months is ideal.
Please make sure your grout is CLEAN before sealing it otherwise you will be sealing all of the dirt into the grout.
Sealing “too often” or “too much” will not hurt the grout.
Typically, once you have selected your tile, you will review our 40 grout colors and see what suits the look you are going for. Most times, you are trying to find the grout color that will disappear into the installation seemlessly. However, in some cases you may want a contrasting grout color. As with most of the tile selection process, it is entirely up to personal prefference.
Generally, unsanded grout should be used in joints that are less than 1/8-inch-wide. It has a smooth texture and clings well to vertical surfaces, which makes it useful for grouting ceramic wall tiles. Sanded grout should be used for flooring and wall tile joints wider than 1/8 inch because it resists shrinkage and cracking.
We have what is reffered to as a “universal grout.” It has an agregate in it that is smaller than that in a typical sanded grout, so you can still get a very small grout joint but also have the benefits of the sturdiness of a typical sanded grout. Laticrete’s Permacolor grout also has the added benefit of anti-microbial technology to prevent mold and mildew buildup in your grout joints.
We recommend the Laticrete Stonetech KlenzAll Cleaner. We have found it produces great results, and keeps your grout safe.
Regardless of what you decide to use, we advise against anything acidic, as acidic cleaners tend to break down grout over time and could result in “dissappearing grout” or your grout falling out.