Floor tiles — marking, shape, dimensions, material, surface, color and design
In the market of building materials, a special place is occupied by floor tiles. This coating has a lot of advantages that allow you to lay it in a variety of rooms. Before buying, it is worth knowing some of the disadvantages of the coating and the features of the choice of material according to certain criteria.
Pros and cons of floor tiles
In many houses and apartments, ceramic floor tiles are used to decorate bathrooms, kitchens and corridors. It is laid in office halls and reception areas of large companies, shops and shopping centers. The material gained such popularity due to its advantages over other floor coverings:
- Environmental friendliness. Ceramic floor tiles are made from clay and sand. These materials are non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
- Strength and wear resistance. Thanks to the special technology of hot pressing, the tile withstands significant mechanical loads and has a long service life.
- moisture resistance. This coating does not pass or absorb water, grease, dirt and other liquids.
- hygiene. The surface prevents the spread of mold and mildew, easy and unpretentious in care.
- Safety. The material does not burn and does not conduct electricity, does not melt under the influence of high temperatures and does not emit toxic substances.
- Big choice shapes, sizes and colors.
Of the main disadvantages of tiles on the floor can be noted:
- Low resistance to mechanical shocks. Tiles must be carefully transported and laid, protected from falling sharp objects.
- Low soundproofing qualities.
- High thermal conductivity, due to which the material is always cold to the touch.
- It is better to trust the laying of the material to professionals, the cost of whose services can vary greatly.
How to choose tiles for the floor?
In order for the selected tile on the floor to the corridor or another room to please the eye of the owner for a long time, the process of its purchase and installation should be approached responsibly. The stores offer a large selection of products with a variety of characteristics, so you should pay attention to:
- Markings that may indicate fade resistance, increased durability, or anti-slip properties.
- Quartz floor tiles are selected strictly according to the floor area of the room. The required amount is calculated individually, based on the shape and size of the model you like, the chosen installation method.
- Tiles can be made from different materials: ceramics, porcelain stoneware and others.
- Surface characteristics greatly affect the convenience and durability of the selected model.
- In addition, the flooring must be in harmony in color with other elements of the room and fit into the overall style.
Floor tile marking
When advising on which floor tiles to choose for a particular room, professionals recommend paying attention to the markings on the product or packaging:
- The icon with the image of a foot indicates that the product can be laid on the floor, with a palm — only on the walls.
- Chemical resistance is indicated by letters from AA to C or O, where the first indicates very high resistance, and the second indicates low.
- The strength or abrasion class is designated as PEI I — PEI V. Tiles of the fifth class are recommended for laying in rooms with high traffic, and 2-3 for home use.
- Tiles on a dark background indicate that the shade of individual elements in the same batch may differ.
- Tiles on the floor with the image of a snowflake are frost-resistant and are recommended for finishing loggias, balconies and terraces.
- Boot on an inclined line — wet friction coefficient. The higher this figure, the less slippery the tile is to use, even if water gets in.
Floor tile shape
When purchasing tiles for the floor, it is important to consider the geometric shape of each tile. The most popular of them:
- Square. This is one of the most popular forms due to the ease and speed of installation, aesthetic appearance.
- Rectangle. This form can be both basic tiles and decorative elements.
- Pentahedrons, hexagons and octahedrons are considered more exotic formats. They are used indoors to create an unusual design. Laying is carried out by specialized masters with a special technology.
- triangular tiles are relatively rare. More often this form is only a separate decorative elements from the collection.
floor tile dimensions
The packaging must also indicate the thickness of the floor tiles, which can vary from 3 to 30 mm, with a corresponding increase in cost. However, professionals say that its strength practically does not depend on the thickness of the product, and for typical houses and apartments, tiles with a thickness of 8-10 mm will be enough.
The tile for the floor is selected and based on the size of each individual element:
- The most popular formats are 200×200 mm and 500×500 mm. Such dimensions are considered the most convenient in installation.
- Other possible sizes: 150×600, 300×300, 600×600 and 450×450 mm.
- It is worth considering the rule that the smaller the room, the smaller the size of the tiles on the floor you need to select. Large squares or rectangles in a small bathroom will look ridiculous.
floor tile material
The most common materials from which floor tiles are made are:
- Natural stone — granite, marble or onyx. This is the most expensive type of tile.
- Porcelain stoneware floor tiles are considered more popular. It is made from kaolin clay, quartz sand, feldspar and some other additives by dry pressing. It turns out a product that imitates natural stone, but at a more affordable price and easier to clean.
- Ceramics. Clay can be processed by extrusion or pressing, from which performance properties will differ. Ceramic tiles are considered the most affordable and versatile material in design.
- Metal plates are mainly used in industrial premises with high mechanical loads.
- PVC and plastic boards are considered the achievement of the chemical industry of the last decade. They have a fully synthetic composition and low cost.
Floor tile surface
The condition of the surface of the floor tiles may also differ. Occurs:
- Glazed tiles, the top layer of which is covered with patterns, and then with a special glossy composition, followed by firing.
- Smalted. Vitreous smalt is applied to the base by pressing. The surface is glossy and more resistant to wear.
- unglazed. The fired clay is left unfinished. Such a surface has a natural roughness and hygroscopicity. Wax-based impregnations and protective compounds are used to protect the product.
- polished. Mineral salts are added to the top layer of the base, giving the tiles a velvety surface. The product is very pleasant to the touch, but is also more prone to abrasion.
Floor tile color
When planning the design of the room, special attention is paid to the choice of the shade of the floor tiles. It can either harmonize with the walls and the main furniture in the room, or be a bright color accent:
- White floor tile is a classic, it’s easier to spot dirt on this shade.
- Green tones are in perfect harmony with shades of ocher, yellow and brown.
- Blue color looks very advantageous in tandem with white or golden hues.
- Red and burgundy shades are often combined with shades of white: milky and vanilla and gray colors.
- Brown color and wood imitation are considered the most win-win options in eco-style rooms, country, chalets, Scandinavian and others.
floor tile design
When choosing a tile for the floor at any hardware store, many buyers are confused, because on the shelves you can find models with a variety of designs:
- Monochromatic products from soft natural shades to bright acid colors.
- Often, tiles are selected with a small pattern: dots, peas, strokes.
- Very popular and imitation of natural materials: stone, wood,
- There are also products with an ornament in the form of broken or wavy lines, animals and natural motifs.
Adhesive for floor tiles
Fixing tiles to the floor is carried out using special adhesives:
- Dry mixes based on white or gray cement, which are diluted with water, for example, KemaKol Marmor 181.
- Two-component epoxy-polyurethane compounds. They are prepared before use by mixing dry matter and hardener. They have improved performance. An example is Ceresit CU 22.
- Ready-to-use water-dispersion mortar for floor tiles based on latex, acrylic or polyvinyl acetate. Significantly saves time during installation work, does not have a strong odor, for example, Neomid flooring adhesive.
How to lay tiles on the floor?
Professional laying of tiles on the floor guarantees not only the aesthetics of the appearance of the room, but also a long service life of the floor covering. Professional tilers divide the entire course of work into the following points:
- Calculation of the required number of tiles and consumables.
- Purchase and delivery of materials and adhesives.
- Preparation of the necessary equipment.
- Checking the quality of the rough coating and leveling it if necessary.
- Applying markup.
- Floor covering.
- Seam grouting.
Floor preparation for tiles
Such a floor covering as a tile imposes strict requirements on the quality of the subfloor:
- Horizontal level differences should not exceed 2-3 mm.
- Delamination of the screed, crumbling or deep oiling of concrete, the presence of traces of paint or oil products are unacceptable.
If the condition of the subfloor is far from ideal, then:
- Defects are being eliminated: bumps are cut down, and fat residues are scraped off to a “healthy” layer.
- All dust and dirt is carefully removed.
- A primer is applied to adhere the repair compound to the surface.
- Leveling the floor for tiles is carried out using a cement-sand screed or self-leveling floor, which dries faster.
Stages of laying tiles on the floor
The main laying of floor tiles is carried out in several stages:
- Definition with the layout of the plates. It can be traditional, modular, diagonal or slab placement with different offsets or inserts.
- Applying markup. Masters can put marks from the center of the room (visible or geometric) or from the most visible corner.
- Preparation of the adhesive mixture: combining the necessary components or thoroughly mixing the finished composition.
- Applying adhesive to tiles or floors. There is no fundamental difference in this, however, the masters work only with the first or second methods.
- Fixing tiles and placing so-called separators (crosses).
- After the glue has completely dried, you can proceed to grouting.
Grouting tiles on the floor
To give the coating a more aesthetic appearance and extend the service life of tile joints, special grouts based on epoxy resins, cement or polymeric materials are used. The basic rules for grouting floor tiles can be summarized as follows:
- All materials and tools are prepared in advance.
- The composition is prepared immediately before application.
- The surface is thoroughly cleaned of dust and debris and moistened to increase adhesion.
- With a rubber spatula in transverse movements, the mixture is applied to the seam to the upper edge of the tile.
- If necessary, the seam is formed using a special spatula-former.
- Excess mortar from the tile is removed immediately with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water.
How to care for floor tiles?
According to its performance characteristics, floor material such as tile is considered durable and unpretentious, therefore, to maintain an aesthetic appearance, it is only necessary:
- Avoid mechanical shock and damage with sharp objects.
- Remove dust and dirt regularly with a vacuum cleaner or a broom without hard metal elements.
- Moisten regularly with a soft cloth dipped in soapy water or a special floor cleaner without harsh chemicals.
- After washing, it is recommended to wipe the tiles dry with a cloth.