Floor and wall tiles

Zainab Alawi
Jan 25, 2022, 11:43:18 AM

Tiles are a material used in construction to decorate floors and walls to give an aesthetic and architectural to the design of various building facilities. There are many options may appear, but the most common recently is the choice between both ceramic and porcelain, as they are the most famous and closest to each other in qualities.

Ceramic is a mixture of glass, cement and clay and goes through chemical stages of drying, roasting and burning up to 900°C for wall tiles and 1100°C for floors, these components are called raw materials. Then it is polished and the coating process is done by applying the paint one or more times to the outer layer and increasing the times of coating increases the beauty of the tiles and also leads to increased color protection and stability, which increases the price of ceramic tiles and its different types.

Porcelain is made up of particles of hard soil such as granite and hard stone, which is characterized by its shiny and lustrous colors, then grind and add materials that enable it to cohesion more than ceramic and pressed with pistons to hold it stronger. Put the porcelain again in the oven until the enamel layer melts, as well as the pigments stick well and burn at high temperatures up to 1300 degrees and at a certain time to be very strong.

Determining the quality of tiles

The product passes several tests to obtain the degree of product classification and quality:

The purity of the raw materials, their freedom from impurities, their cohesion, the accuracy of the slab measurements, the flatness of the surfaces, the stability of the color, its resistance to corrosion, the homogeneity of colors, its resistance to acids, salts and water absorption. On these tests, the court receives the first elite rating.

If visible defects in ceramics, it is included in the (Stoke) classification list. These defects include:

Uneven color, spots on the surface, lack of color coverage of the entire surface of the tile, high surface roughness, increased amount of paint, and uneven surface.

Water absorption feature:

Tiles are classified according to their high or low water permeability:

  • High water permeability ceramic: It is characterized by its thin body, open pores, non-frost-resistant, muffled and non-resonant. This type of ceramic is used for floors of bedrooms, halls and corridors to avoid transmission of sounds to basements, where the water absorption rate is from 6 to 11%
  • Low-water permeability ceramic: It is characterized by its dense body, narrow closed pores, frost-resistant and sound transmission. This type of ceramic is used for covering walls and floors that are exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms and external walls that are resistant to weathering, where the water absorption rate is from 3 to 7%
  • Porcelain impermeable to water: Porcelain is characterized by its impermeability to water, which reaches from 0.01 to 0.05%, which is almost negligible. That is why porcelain is considered one of the most desirable materials in the process of finishing floors.

Tile installation methods:

The back of the ceramic must be grooved and rough to ensure good adhesion to cement or glue, and in the case of a smooth back surface, the surface is roughened with the tools provided with the worker. Before installing the tiles, the pieces must be distributed on the surface or the floor well to reduce the waste from cutting and chipping, taking care to place the cut or excess parts in the sides and invisible places as much as possible.

During installation, simple and equal capillary spaces should be left between the composite pieces, ranging between 2 and 5 mm, depending on the coefficient of expansion and the use of plastic pieces in the form of (+) placed between the ceramic pieces during installation and then removed.

For the floors of bathrooms and places with moisture, the slope of the floors should be at a rate of 1% (1 cm per one meter in length) towards the water drain, while the rest of the building areas shall be one level.

For the stages of ceramic installation, care must be taken that the floor is clean and flat and the bottom of the tile is straight. Before installation, the tiles are placed in a basin of water to soak the ceramic pores to prevent the liquid of glue or water from being drawn into the adhesive material on the wall or floor. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a dense liquid mixture (robe) of white cement with the addition of the desired color powder to fill the spaces and the cohesion of the tiles with each other and fix it well.

Porcelain is characterized by its hardness so that it does not require immersion in a basin of water before installation and requires that it use its own adhesive glue only to install it on surfaces, as it does not homogeneous with the cement mixture, and this is one of the factors that cause separation or the feeling of drumming.

Ceramic Features

  • Multiple designs: It is characterized by the availability of many shapes and sizes, such as colored, decorated and stereoscopic ceramics, which are completely similar to the shape of wood and marble, which makes it suitable for use in most places and spaces.
  • Water Resistant: Ceramic is a finish that resists water and slips to a large extent, which makes it very suitable for floors of bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Low cost: Most of the prices of different types of ceramics are considered low compared to other types of floors such as marble or porcelain, and it also saves a lot in the budget of mega projects.
  • Resistant to heat and chemicals: Ceramic is classified as good resistance to heat and ignition, and resistant to various chemicals, making it suitable for use in hospitals or medical laboratories.
  • Ease of cleaning: Ceramic is one of the easy types in the cleaning process, especially since the various spots do not stick to it or even dust.
  • Light weight: When looking at the size of ceramics, we find that it is less weight than other materials, which makes it easy to install and does not require much time and effort.
  • Ceramic defects
  • Loud sound: weak in its resistance to absorbing sounds, and the sound is transmitted to all building facilities, so it is not recommended to use it in hospitals, schools and any other places that require complete silence.
  • Coolness: due to its high porosity properties, it is considered one of the moisture-retaining types, which makes it relatively cool, and therefore it is preferable to install it in all parts of the house except for the bedrooms.
  • Permanent modernization: Ceramic is one of the most vulnerable types of continuous modernization and development and providing new types in the market, and perhaps this creates a feeling of the need to renew the building, which is a very expensive matter.

Porcelain features

  • Hardness: Its strength and durability make its life span very long, which makes it suitable for public places that are subject to excessive movement and use, and it is suitable for all crowded places or those that include heavy equipment.
  • Fluid resistance: It has a high-density property that makes it highly resistant to liquids. It is suitable for use in places exposed to water such as outdoor balconies.
  • Anti-stain: a strong anti-stain such as tea, coffee and fat, where it is difficult for those pierced drops to penetrate the pores of the porcelain and then lead to distortion of its appearance.
  • Fireproof: Porcelain is a fire-retardant type because it is impossible for a flame to break out under any circumstances.
  • Ease of cleaning: It is easy to clean and does not require special care. It is possible to just clean it with a vacuum cleaner or a wet mop with water.
  • Life Extension: Porcelain is one of the finishes that lasts for life under natural conditions, and therefore it is considered economical in the long run.

Porcelain defects

  • Heavy weight: It is considered one of the very heavy types of floors, and increases the fixed loads on the buildings and requires calculating the sum of the weights and adopting them in the structural design of the project.
  • High cost: It is one of the most expensive types of floor tiles, but it is considered an economical option if its lifespan is calculated.
  • Difficulty in installation: The process of installing porcelain is one of the arduous and tiring matters, in terms of transportation or the time and effort spent in the installation process.