Rectified vs non-rectified
Rectified tiles are tiles that have been machine cut and polished to be the exact same size. They also have straight edges and are consistently flat from the top. The reasons for choosing rectified tiles are; you get symmetry in the size of the tile, and also it allows you to have really thin grout lines. Non-rectified tiles often vary slightly in size from the same batch and give a more natural look.
Floor vs Wall tile
Main difference between floor and wall tiles are, wall tiles are lighter and softer than floor tiles. Wall tiles are not engineered to withstand foot traffic, while floor tiles are designed to do just that. Floor tiles can – and often are – used as wall tiles, but not the other way around.
Advantage of using tile
The main advantage of using tile over hardwood is durability. Tiles have the capability to last as long as the house as long as they are installed properly. Tiles also have thousands and thousands of designs which give you a much wider range to choose from. Now with porcelain tiles that look like natural hardwood, it is easier to choose a design that might fit your needs and also serve as a long-lasting investment.
Generally, the number of tiles required to finish are job are based on the measurements of the room, and depending on the complexity of the job, you should consider anywhere from 10-20% for wastage and cuts. That number depends on the shape of the room, the pattern that you want the tiles laid in, and the size of the tiles.
Normally there is a slight shade variation between two production lots of porcelain and glass products. The variation is generally very small within porcelain and glass, but still noticeable. Variations within different lots of marble tiles and mosaics can be much greater, as the appearance of the marble cannot be controlled in the factory, hence is subject to the shade of the raw materials available.
Modified vs unmodified thin set
Modified thinset is a stronger thin set that requires air to cure. While unmodified thinset does not require air to set properly, and often holds more moisture in them.
When using thinset with schluter underlays, use modified thinset when installing ditra/ditra-heat/Kerdi membrane over plywood, and use unmodified if installing ditra/ditra heat over concrete. Also use unmodified thin set when installing tiles/backsplash onto the schluter products. This will give you the best results.
Different types of cements
There is a numerous amount of different cements in the market. Here are some basic differences you should look for when choosing the right cement for you:
- Grey thin set – Is good for any porcelain tile, as porcelain tiles will not show the color of the adhesive
- White thin set – This is better used for marble, and glass mosaics. Also used for marble tiles (especially white marble tiles) as it won’t show the color of the grey cement.
- LFT – LFT thinset should be used for large format tiles. LFT is suitable for tiles bigger than 24×24 going on the floor. For example, tiles that are 32×32, or 18×36. Also recommended to use for tilesizes 24×24 and bigger for the walls.
Importance of leveling the floor
Leveling the floor is very important, because it helps to give a smooth finish for floor tiles. The floor is usually leveled by the secondary subfloor, that goes atop the primary subfloor such as plywood or cement. Once the floor is leveled, will allow for an amazing finish, regardless if you are putting tiles or mosaics on the floor.
A secondary subfloor is something that goes over your primary subfloor such as, plywood or cement. The second floor helps level the area for tiling, and also provides a cushion for the tiles to allow movement. This prevents the tiles/grout from cracking after installation.
We highly recommend using the Ditra* underlay, as it allows for a lot of movement, easy to install, very affordable and lastly also doubles up as a waterproofing membrane.
Other options for secondary floor are, scratch coat and mesh, and cement boards.
Grout joint sizes are usually done in three sizes, 1/32-inch, 1/16-inch, or 1/8-inch. For the best and most seamless finish, we recommend going with 1/32-inchthickness as it will show the least amount of grout. The size can also vary depending on the size and specifications of the tile. We recommend using the Kiesel brand, as it is a very high-quality brand that is stain resistant (no need to seal it after), and is also rapid cure to help speed up the installation process.
When using porcelain or glass products, there is no need to seal the materials. When using any marble products, we highly recommend you seal it. Sealing acts as an outside layer that stops any outside liquids or other materials from staining the marble. Marble is porous and can easily absorb things such as oil, wine, dust (that has collected on it for a while), etc and hence gets stained easily.
It is also recommended you seal your grout, to stop it from losing color by constantly being stained. However, this is not true for all grouts, at Myron tile and stone we sell Keisel grouts that are stain resistant which allow for the grouts to hold their color for much longer, and hence do not need to be sealed.
Having a good contractor is very important, as it can make the difference between an overtly amazing look, and a bad look using the same materials. A good contractor will not only make sure everything is installed properly, including leveling, grouting, waterproofing, subfloor installation, and more, but will also give you good advice for future maintenance, and in some cases even good color combination ideas (due to many years of experience). Bad installation of tiles can cause the tiles to crack within 6 months to a year, leaving you with big damage and replacement costs.