Tiles have many advantages over most finishing materials. It is resistant to abrasion and exposure to temperatures, chemical contamination and fading, does not allow water to pass through and is not demanding to maintain. But all the quality characteristics will be fully manifested only with the correct choice of this decorative material and its correct styling. What to look for when buying, how to install tiles and many more useful tips – in our material.
How to Choose a Tile?
The most important parameter when choosing subway tiles is where it is used. Based on it, you need to select the material according to the manufacturing method, size and class of wear resistance.
Features of production
According to this characteristic, the tile is divided into several types:
- Ceramic (tiled in everyday life)
It comes in square, rectangular and polygonal shapes. They are made of clay, which is fired at a temperature of more than 1000 ° C and covered with glaze. Due to the glaze, the manufacturer applies various colors, ornaments to the subway tiles, changes the surface: makes it glossy or matte. Ceramic tiles are used for interior decoration.
This is a kind of ceramic tile. In its manufacture, the raw material is pushed through a mold (extruded clinker). Then they are fired at a temperature of more than 1200 ° C, due to which the tile practically does not absorb water and becomes frost-resistant. Due to these characteristics, the main place of clinker application is the façade.
Made from glass powder with the addition of various components to enhance strength. Due to the dense structure, dirt does not accumulate on the tile surface. Can be matte or mirrored.
Here the tiles are divided into 3 large groups:
- Small – format – from mosaic to standard 20×30 cm. It will not be possible to quickly lay such tiles, but there are much more installation options than large ones. Small plates can be placed with classic flat masonry, “bricks”, “herringbone” and so on.
- Medium format – the most popular type of square or rectangular tiles with a minimum size of 30×30 or 30×40 cm. It is more convenient to install than a small format, suitable for any premises.
- Large – format tiles with a side of 50 cm or more. It is laid faster than the previous ones, however, it is inconvenient for rooms with complex floor and wall geometry, because, due to its large dimensions, it is difficult to fit it during installation.
Many designers experiment when decorating rooms with tiles: they combine materials of different formats in one interior. This allows you to achieve an unusual rhythm in the floor pattern, makes the interior unique and unusual.
How to lay tiles?
When buying tiles, check that the whole batch has the same tone and caliber – they are indicated on the packaging. Sellers do not accept claims if you are not satisfied with the size and color characteristics of the tiles after installation.
The tone and caliber are not indicated for decorative ceramic and glass elements. Before installation, save one package with the brand, collection and article designation, or take a photo of it. So you can’t go wrong if you have to buy additional tiles.
When laying, be sure to use crosses, wedges or a tile leveling system. This will help maintain even joints between the modules, which are necessary to compensate for changes in tile geometry during temperature changes. As a rule, the dimensions of the seams vary from 1 to 12 mm.
If you want a screed floor, you can use rectified smooth-edged tiles. Despite the name of the floor, such tiles are still laid with seams, but their size is only 0.5–1 mm. Therefore, visually, the surface appears to be uniform.