Using large format tile has many advantages. Among the most common advantages are easier maintenance and room size perception. Generally speaking it is far easier to clean the face of a tile than it is to clean the grout and large tile tends to make the room in which it is installed appear larger. The use of large-format patterns also creates dynamic looks; dramatically increasing the visual impact of a space.Tiles Cape Town
Below are three tips to maximize the advantages of large format tile:
- Ensure a flat surface. Substrate preparation for walls and floors that will be tiled with large format materials must be perfectly flat. The level of flatness dictated by the BS Standards for large format installations The substrate (wall or floor) to be tiled must be perfectly level, with no defects in planarity. BS 5385 recommends that “local variations in level for a nominally flat floor should be such that, when checked with a 2 m straightedge, any gap under the straightedge between points of contact does not exceed 3 mm.”Not ensuring a flat substrate may create a condition where one edge of the tile is higher than the adjacent tile creating an uneven and unsightly appearance. This condition is called lippage.
- Use the right adhesive correctly. Adhesive manufacturers offer an extensive range of cement, mortars, and epoxy’s designed for specific uses. Making sure you use the right one correctly for your large format installation is essential. Heavy, large format tiles used on wall applications are best installed using non-slip adhesives. Ardex Ireland recommends pourable thick bed for large format floor installations. Ardex Ireland also recommends solid bed fixing i.e. full coverage on the back of the tile.
Our advice is: don’t take any risks and always use the floating and buttering method when installing large format tiles. This method consists of applying the thin-set adhesive over the substrate and combing it using a notched trowel. After that, a thin layer of thin-set adhesive is spread over the back of the tile with the trowel’s flat side. By using this method, full coverage of the tile with adhesive is ensured alternatively use Pourable thick bed adhesives.
- Specify grout joints compatible with the tile’s face dimension. Shrinkage occurs when firing ceramic and porcelain tiles during the manufacturing process. This shrinkage is natural and results in creating a slight curve across the face of the tile. European Standards dictate acceptable standards which for porcelain allow for a 2mm variance from the highest point of the curve (in the centre of the tile) to the lowest point of the curve (on the tile’s edge). The variance increases with the tile’s size and dictates the grout joint one should use to avoid lippage. This is especially important to consider when using large format tiles on walls with down lighting.