Frequently Asked Questions
Consider the environment of the area which the tiles are to be installed, and the technical characteristics required of the tiles. It is important to choose the right type of tiles to ensure the durability of the tiles for the intended function or application.
Tiles with lower water absorption rates are more compact and have higher mechanical strength. Hence, wall tiles which have higher water absorption rates and lower mechanical strength should not be used for the floor. While porcelain and floor tiles, which have lower water absorption rates and higher mechanical strength may be used for walls if desired.
A key technical property to consider for floor tiles is slip resistance for spaces with high traction or prone to being slippery.
Floor tiles are generally tougher and more durable than wall tiles and can be applied on walls as well. However, wall tiles are not recommended for application on floors as they are not designed to withstand heavy traffic and/or abrasive forces.
It’s always a good practice to view several pieces of tiles at a standing distance of least a meter away to visualize a particular product in its final form.
As ceramic tiles are made from natural materials that are compressed under high pressure before being kiln-fired at high temperatures, some variations will occur. Tiles would vary in color tones even within the same batch and even more apparent from different batches.
For some tiles, these variations or imperfections are more preferred as they become part of the design that gives it a unique, natural characteristic and charm.
Make sure you first measure the area to be tiled and have your drawing plans, sketches and measurements on-hand.
To ensure that you have sufficient tiles to complete your project, it is highly recommended to buy in excess to provision for wastage, breakage and/or future replacements. A general rule of thumb would be to add 5% to 10% for normal installation and 15% to 20% for diagonal installation or for irregular areas with many curves and corners.
Every batch of tiles has shade variations, this is an inherent characteristic of ceramic tiles. We recommend to initially dry-lay the tiles to ensure that you are satisfied with the tiles’ color. We also suggest that the lighting condition of the area being tiled is recreated in a staged environment so that the final look of the tiles would be very similar.
Textured tiles provide more resistance to slips and are suitable for households with children, babies or elderly persons. These are ideal for surfaces that are highly susceptible to water such as driveways, kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
Smooth tiles, on the other hand, are usually installed indoors such as bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, etc.
Also consider that smooth tiles are generally easier to maintain while textured tiles are prone to trap dirt, hence making them difficult to clean.
Generally, polished tiles are not stain-resistant due to its polishing process that exposes microscopic pores. It is difficult, but not impossible, to remove any accidental spills that are trapped in its pores. We recommend that stains are immediately attended to before it dries up.
Tiles are usually chipped due to high-impacts from sharp objects since tiles are heated at high temperatures, making them rigid and relatively non-resilient.
For example, small stones trapped in the soles of shoes or metal tips found in stiletto heels can cause serious damage to tiles especially when heavy pressure is concentrated over a very small area.
Hollow spaces occur due to insufficient adhesive coverage under the tiles, the wrong adhesive was used, resulting in poor bonding, and/or incorrect installation techniques.
If a tile is well bonded (i.e. attached to the concrete substrate), it will have a high-pitched sound. If you hear a lower-pitched or a hollow sound, this indicates that the tile has either debonded or was never bonded somewhere during its installation.
Cracks are usually due to insufficient coverage of adhesive under the tiles’ corners.
Cracks that run across several tiles are likely due to excessive movement in the substrate during the shrinking and curing process or the underlying structural surface.
Tiles buckle due to various reasons. There might be an insufficient width of tile joints, insufficient or absence of movement joints, inappropriate or adulterated adhesive, poor workmanship such as uneven substrate, shrinkage & expansion of overall flooring system, insufficient curing time and/or structural movements in buildings.
A proper grout is formulated to have several properties such as good abrasion resistance, compressive & flexural strength, low shrinkage and low water absorption. A cement mix is rigid, so it does not share the same properties with a proper grout.
Soft and crumbly grout is usually caused by poor mixing and/or application. We recommend that the grout should be prepared properly by mixing it thoroughly to a consistent, thick and creamy paste before applying. Also, ensure that the grout is compressed onto the joints and that it completely fills the joints without any gaps.
It’s also very likely that the grout had not fully hardened and cured before its surface was subjected to a huge load.
Properly installed and maintained tiles can easily last a lifetime. Porcelain tiles are known to be the most durable type of tiles.
Placing two tiles together closely to create a small grout joint is referred to as Butt Joint.
Grout joints or tiling gaps are absolutely required to accommodate any substrate movement under the tiles. Also consider other important factors such as minor tile size variations, shrinkage of cement over time, allowance provision for workmanship and the ventilation of adhesive for curing.
We recommended a minimum tiling gap of 3mm for floors and 1.5mm for walls.