Choosing floor tiles? A great flooring choice for hallways, kitchen diners, bathrooms, contemporary living spaces and even outdoors, floor tiles come in ever more varied design choices. Pick from natural stone, such as terracotta, limestone or marble, or from manmade materials, such as porcelain, ceramic or concrete. Find out everything you need to know about floor tile materials, installing floor tiles, and tips for floor tile maintenance. Tiles Cape Johannesburg
NATURAL OR MANMADE FLOOR TILE MATERIALS?
- NATURAL OR MANMADE FLOOR TILE MATERIALS? – Natural stone tiles have unique textures and tones, but are more likely to crack or scratch than manmade materials, and may need sealing once laid – and resealing in future. Manmade materials are usually more affordable and come in a wide range of designs, but tend not to have natural stone’s character.
- NATURAL STONE TILES – Typically, natural stone tiles come in natural, sharp or polished finishes. Natural surfaces tend to be matt with texture and pitting; honed tiles are smooth but matt; soft shades of polished tiles. The greater the polish, the more water-resistant the tile will be, but also the slipperier it will be. Look out for the natural products of stone tiles:
- Granite is very hard, available in many colours, and if sealed and polished, resists scratching. However, it can crack. Ideal for kitchens, living and hallways.
- Marble is porous so choose honed or polished finishes, particularly in a kitchen. Available in a range of colours, it’s a good choice for bathrooms.
- Limestone comes in earthy shades and both textured and polished finishes. It can stain and scratch, so avoid putting it in high traffic areas, such as kitchens.
- Porcelain tiles – Porcelain tiles are dense, smooth and impermeable, making them suitable for all rooms, including the garden. They can mimic the look of wood, encaustic patterns, natural stones and even concrete.
- Ceramic tiles – Ceramic tiles, generally more affordable than other tiles, come in a wide choice of designs. A little more prone to chipping and wear than porcelain tiles, they are hardwearing and will work for most rooms.
INSTALLING UNDERFLOOR HEATING UNDERFLOOR TILES
Tiles heat up rapidly and maintain heat well, making an effective choice for underfloor heating. Tile thickness impacts the heat-up time, with a thicker tile getting up to warm up a little longer than a thinner tile. To allow ordinary heat motion, use a flexible adhesive and grout. The finish you get is only as good as your subfloor, which must be clean, flat and movement-free before you start laying the tiles. Larger format tiles need the subfloor to be absolutely perfect to lay flat; smaller tiles will give you a little more leeway with minor imperfections.