Nothing beats the durability of ceramic tile. With so many patterns available it is easy to find one to fit your budget from Shaw, Marazzi, Interceramic, Mannington, Stone Solutions and many others.
Tile continues to grow in popularity and with good reason. Tile has a natural, handcrafted look that’s durable and easy to care for. Tile works well in areas with high foot traffic, and is especially suited for areas where water and dirt enter the house or business. Design patterns are limitless when using all of the possible combinations of size, texture and color. You can further your creativity with the use of colored grouts.
Ceramic tile has been around for hundreds of years, but today the available styles and colors of ceramic tile are almost endless. Ceramic tile manufacturers are creating new designs and application possibilities every day. With durability, low-maintenance and beauty, ceramic adds quality and value to floors, walls and countertops.
Ceramic tile is a natural product made up of clay, stone and a number of other natural minerals and water. Ceramic tiles may be painted or glazed and are more uniform in appearance than most porcelain tiles. Porcelain looks much more like natural stone. Porcelain tile is made with special clays and minerals that are kiln-fired at very high temperatures. As a result, porcelain is harder and denser than other tile products, frost proof, highly stain, scratch and water-resistant.
UNDERSTANDING CERAMIC TILE
To help understand this product and its limitations, precautions and maintenance:
- The newly installed tile must not be walked on for the first 24 hours. This time is necessary to allow proper curing and bonding of the tile adhesive.
- Finding the grout rough and gritty following installation is not uncommon. After 72 hours, damp water mopping daily for the first week or so will help cure the grout to its full strength. With age and time, all grout will smooth and change color somewhat from its original appearance.
- Furniture, chairs and appliances should be properly supported and protected at the floor level to reduce possible tile damage.
- Concrete is subject to expansion, contraction, settling and cracking, which may cause cracks, hollow spots or both. These conditions can be neither controlled or warranted by the contractor. These conditions may occur and are assumed risks of the homeowner or builder. Some precautions can be taken with the installation of a slip sheet.
- Grout materials cannot be expected to look as even and uniform as a painted color. Grout is color-pigmented cement and is subject to shading, mottling and color drift. Exact color match to samples cannot be guaranteed.
- Once the job is completed and cleaned, the grout joints can be sealed. A once over with your sealer according to the instructions will do the job. If your tile is glazed, these sealers will not harm the surface as long as they are wiped clean. Should you elect to use a sealer, allow two weeks from the date of installation before application.
CERAMIC TILE GRADES
Tile PEI Rating System is determined by the ASTM International.
Has the weakest grade of tile, Grade I tiles are normally used only for interior wall applications.
Able to withstand light traffic, Grade II tiles are ideal for spaces like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Perfect for general residential use, Grade III tiles can be installed in higher traffic areas like kitchens and entrances. They are also suitable for lightly-trafficked commercial spaces and counter tops.
Though they are rated for commercial use, Grade IV tiles are also sometimes used in homes. They are durable enough to handle a great deal of traffic, from bank lobbies to grocery stores.
Created for industrial use, Grade V tiles can stand up to very heavy traffic and chemical exposure, and can be used anywhere.
REGULAR CLEANING PROCEDURES
Sweep/vacuum and damp mop weekly
- Regularly sweep or vacuum tile floors to remove gritty particles that might scratch them. Wipe down your ceramic floor with a damp mop at least once a week. Never use a detergent or soap, because it can dull the surface. Make certain that any cleaner you have chosen is compatible with grout cleaning, (neutral pH) and will not stain the grout. Routine cleaners should never contain acids, vinegar, chorines or ammonia, as these chemicals can damage and discolor the grout or the surface of the tile. (Wait at least 72 hours after installation before damp moping to allow tile and grout to dry).
Use protective mats
Good quality entry and exit mats will help protect your tile from premature wear. They trap the dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil and asphalt. That would otherwise be tracked onto your floor. Mats are also suggested at heavy pivot locations, such as in front of your kitchen sink or stove.
Add protective pads to furniture
Protect your tile by affixing felt or similar pads to the legs of any furniture that will be placed on the tile. Metal furniture, which rests on tile floors or patios, may rust and cause staining.